Hours after 4 Israeli soldiers were injured from an explosion near the Gaza Strip border fence, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed that it struck 18 targets in Gaza overnight belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization.
“Earlier this evening, IDF fighter jets attacked additional terror targets belonging to the Hamas terror organization, in response to the acts of terrorism earlier today,” the IDF spokesperson’s unit said in a statement.
Following its routine, Israel held Hamas responsible for any terror acts emanating from Gaza. Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007.
“The IDF views with great severity the incident in which popular and seemingly spontaneous demonstrations were used for terrorist activity and an attempt to destabilize the Gaza Strip,” the spokesperson said.
“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 operations “below ground” have included the construction of an underground network of terror tunnels, many of which have been destroyed by Israel.
“Eight targets were attacked in a military compound near Deir el Balah, which belongs to the Hamas terror organization, including weapon-manufacturing and training infrastructures,” the statement added. “In addition, an IDF tank targeted two observation posts.”
The IDF abstained from confirming a statement made by Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam brigades in which the terror organization claimed to have launched anti-aircraft missiles against Israeli jets during the operations on Saturday night. The IDF spokesperson however, said that no projectiles were fired at Israeli communities.
“During the attacks, sirens sounded in southern Israel,” the spokesperson noted. “All of the sirens that sounded earlier this evening are false alarms, and no projectiles were launched at Israeli territory.”
Speaking abroad from the Munich Security Conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had vowed a response to the explosion on Saturday injuring four Israeli soldiers.
“Today’s incident on the Gaza Strip border is severe,” he stated. “We will respond appropriately. I send my wishes for a quick recovery to the wounded.”
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin echoed Netanyahu’s remarks.
“We will not be quiet in the face of any type of terror against our soldiers who are protecting the lives of the citizens of Israel,” he said.
Reported by: Jonathan Benedek – Breaking Israel News