Israeli Defense Forces hit back against Palestinian militants after a barrage of rockets were fired from Gaza to Southern Israel beginning Wednesday, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Hamas took responsibility for the rocket attacks. A spokesman for the group, Abdullatif al-Kanoo, said Hamas was acting “in self-defense and has a duty to respond to the aggression against our people,” according to a translation from Al Jazeera.
“The escalation of the barbaric shelling of Gaza and the deliberate targeting of civilians is premeditated and the occupation will suffer the repercussions and pay a higher price for its crimes,” he said.
The rockets hit the southern Israeli town of Sderot, wounding 11 people, including a woman who is in serious condition. Thirteen others were treated for shock trauma, according to Harretz.
Israeli military retaliated against the attack with 150 airstrikes early Thursday, killing three. Six others were wounded.
“In the past day, we have conducted significant attacks against the Hamas terror group,” said Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi.
“We are prepared for every eventuality and will continue to do whatever is required in order to ensure the safety of (Sderot) residents and to strengthen the feeling of security. I trust in the resilience of residents of the Gaza periphery and call on them to continue to adhere to the Home Front Command’s instructions,” he added.
Over 30 of Hamas’s 180 rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a security meeting in Tel Aviv with Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot.
“Hamas was dealt a serious blow, Israel will keep acting will full force,” a source said after the meeting, according to Haaretz.
Palestinians factions on Thursday said the violence between Israel and Gaza was over, but the sentiment was short lived.
“After the statement was released, however, a rocket was fired at the city of Be’er Sheva, located some 40 kilometers from the Strip,” Haaretz reported.
On Thursday, an IDF official said Israel hasn’t ruled out an evacuation of Israeli citizens if the conflict continues.
“We don’t see the end of the escalation. We are nearing an operation in Gaza,” he said.
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