Ceasefire takes effect after spike in Israel-Gaza violence
Jerusalem: Israeli aircraft hit a series of targets in the Gaza Strip early Saturday in response to rocket fire that damaged a house in southern Israel.
Dozens of strikes hit the Palestinian enclave in the early hours, targeting bases of the strip’s Islamist rulers Hamas and allied groups, a security source in Gaza said.
The Israeli army said they were hitting “terror targets.” Three people were injured, at least one seriously, the health ministry in the strip said.
The sound of explosions could be heard up and down the impoverished territory, an AFP correspondent said.
A Hamas source said they had fired at the Israeli aircraft carrying out the raids and the Israeli army confirmed fresh “incoming fire” from Gaza.
The strikes came in response to at least 10 rockets fired from Gaza late Friday at southern Israel.
The Israeli army said the country’s Iron Dome anti-missile defence system intercepted eight of the rockets.
The rockets were fired in waves, the army said, with air raid sirens sounding in southern Israel.
One house was hit and damaged, without causing any casualties, the army said, posting a picture of the damage on Twitter.
“This family home in southern Israel was just hit by a rocket fired from Gaza,” the military said.
It was the second consecutive evening that the army reported rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave, which is ruled by Hamas.
Prior to Thursday, there had been no such reported rocket fire from Gaza towards Israel since September 12.
In August, a series of rocket attacks from Gaza and Israeli retaliations, as well as border clashes, raised fears of an escalation between Hamas and Israel, as elections approached in the Jewish state.
Those polls — Israel’s second elections this year — took place on September 17, but have yet to yield a new government.
Sworn enemies Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in the Palestinian enclave since 2008. Analysts say a fourth round remains likely.