Israel strikes Hamas military compound in response to Gaza rocket fire


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli airstrike hit a Hamas military compound in southern Gaza in response to a rocket fired hours earlier at southern Israel.

The attack early Tuesday morning reportedly caused damage to the facility. It came hours after a rocket launched from Gaza landed in an open field in southern Israel. The Code Red alert siren did not go off since it was determined that the rocket was heading to an unpopulated area.

A second rocket fired Monday evening reportedly landed inside of Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces said it was holding Hamas accountable for the Gaza strike even though a small terrorist group launched the rocket.

Dozens of rockets and mortars have been fired from Gaza on southern Israel since President Donald Trump announced on Dec. 6 that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel has struck at least 40 Hamas targets in Gaza in recent weeks. Netanyahu was responding to criticism from Labor Party head Avi Gabbay that the Israeli leader has failed to stop the rocket fire and for not taking stronger action against the strikes.

On Tuesday, the IDF’s chief of staff, Gadi Eisenkot, criticized lawmakers who have said that the military is not taking strong enough action against Hamas in the face of the rocket attacks from Gaza.

“These statements to respond with maximal force to rocket fire are irresponsible. It is not the right thing to do,” Eisenkot said during a speech at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center.

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