The rocket fire has come two weeks after a series of cross-border exchanges between Israel and terrorist groups inside the Gaza Strip.
On February 6th, Hamas fired a rocket at the Hof Ashkelon region, and later the same day an IDF patrol came under gunfire while on duty near the security fence. In response, the IDF struck six Hamas positions in Gaza, including a naval base near Jabaliya, in the north-west region of the Gaza Strip.
The rocket landed in an unpopulated area of Israel, and no damage or injuries were reported by the IDF.
IAF jets hit Hamas positions east of the Nusseirat refugee camp, Khan Younis and on an Islamic Jihad military wing base in northern Gaza. According to AFP, Israeli tanks were positioned along the Gaza border and opened fire at targets. The Gaza Health Ministry reported that four Palestinians were moderately wounded near Rafah.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented on the targeted strikes: “We respond to all fire at our territory; thus we did today and as such we will do in the future”.
An official IDF statement said: “In response to a rocket fired from Gaza that hit Israeli territory last night, the Israel Air Force targeted five Hamas positions throughout the Gaza Strip. The IDF holds Hamas accountable for all attacks from the Gaza Strip that threaten Israel and her citizens”.
Israel’s Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman emphasised that Israel has “no intention to continue to absorb drizzles [of rockets out of Gaza],” and that Hamas should “take responsibility”.
During the 50-day Operation Protective Edge conflict of 2014, 5,014 rockets were launched in total from the Gaza Strip, and the IDF destroyed 32 Hamas attack tunnels infiltrating Israeli territory.