JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israel Defense Forces attacked 18 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to an attack on Israeli soldiers and rocket fire.
The attacks were executed late on Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Eight of the targets were located in a Hamas military compound at Deir el Balah, in central Gaza, where the group stores weapon, manufacturing infrastructures and carries out training. In addition, the IDF bombed a second military compound in the area of Khan Yunis and a Hamas attack tunnel stretching from Gaza into southern Israel. Two Hamas observation posts also were targeted by IDF tank fire.
On Saturday night a rocket fired from Gaza struck the roof of a house in a town in southern Israel. No injuries were reported.
Earlier on Saturday, four Israeli soldiers were wounded, two seriously, when an explosive device planted near the border fence with Gaza detonated. The soldiers had approached the fence to remove a Palestinian flag that was hung on it.
The IDF believes that the flag was hung there during a demonstration at the border on Friday in order to attract the soldiers near the explosives.
The Popular Resistance Committee in Gaza, an umbrella group made up of Palestinian terrorists from different armed factions, called the explosion “a heroic act in response to the enemy’s infiltration into the Gaza Strip,” Haaretz reported.
“The Hamas terror organization is accountable for this incident and its consequences, as well as everything happening in and from the Gaza Strip, above and below ground,” the IDF said in a statement.
“The IDF views the popular and seemingly spontaneous demonstrations that were used for terrorist activity and an attempt to destabilize the Gaza Strip as severe incidents. The IDF is determined to protect Israeli civilians and will do so by all means at its disposal,” the statement also said.