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Israel strikes Gaza after rocket attacks: army

Israel strikes Gaza after rocket attacks: army
January 2, 2022 Reuters

PALESTINE (AFP) – Israel targeted Hamas positions in southern Gaza after rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave, security sources and the army said.

"Fighter jets, helicopters and tanks struck a rocket manufacturing site, and military posts belonging to the Hamas terror organisation," Israel's army said.

Palestinian sources told AFP the army had targeted "a site of the al-Qassam Brigades, west of Khan Yunis" in southern Gaza.

The sources also reported Israeli artillery fire on a Hamas observation base in northern Gaza.

Hamas condemned the Israeli strike, with a spokesman vowing "to defend our Palestinian people and liberate our land and our holy sites from the occupation and its colonial settlers until achieving the inevitable triumph".

The Israeli strike came after two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning, falling into the Mediterranean Sea off Tel Aviv.

No warning sirens sounded and Israel's Iron Dome rocket interception system did not deploy, the army said in a statement.

Sources in Hamas told AFP that "the firing of the two rockets on Saturday morning was a technical problem due to the bad weather".

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addressed the Hamas explanation on Sunday morning.

"All of Hamas's stories about lightning and thunder, that repeat themselves winter after winter, are no longer relevant," he said at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting.

"Whoever aims missiles at the State of Israel will bear the consequences."

Israel has maintained a blockade on the impoverished enclave since 2007, the year Hamas took power.