Israeli military strikes Gaza Strip after rocket fire

Six missiles reportedly fired at ‘two Hamas positions’ after interception of rockets by Israel’s missile defence system.

Gaza protests 29/12/207
Palestinians have held protests in Gaza against the US decision on Jerusalem [IA Mustafa/Reuters]

The Israeli military has attacked two Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip with tank shelling and air strikes after rockets launched from Gaza struck Israel, according to Israeli news media.

Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said on Twitter on Friday.

Palestinian news agency Wafa reported quoting sources in Gaza that six Israeli missiles were fired.

It said plumes of smoke were visible from one of the targeted areas east of the Gaza City neighbourhood of al-Tuffah.

A third landed in an Israeli community in the Sha’ar Hanegev region, near the border with Gaza, according to the Israeli news website Ynet.

Although Israel said it attacked Hamas posts, the source of the rockets remains unknown.

Rocket-warning sirens began shortly after midday in the Sha’ar Hanegev and Sdot Negev regions, alerting residents to take shelter, the Israeli army said on Twitter.

No casualties were reported from either attack, according to the Times of Israel. However, a building in Sha’ar Hanegev sustained some damage when a third rocket landed nearby.

The Times of Israel website speculated that it was designed to coincide with a ceremony marking the 24th birthday of an Israeli army soldier, Oron Shaul, who was killed in 2014 and whose remains are reportedly being held by Hamas.

The Israeli army said it is currently investigating the incident.

‘Day of Rage’

Palestinian factions Hamas and Islamic Jihad had declared Friday as another “day of rage” following the controversial decision by US President Donald Trump to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The rockets from Gaza were the first since December 18 and mark the most sustained fire from the Gaza Strip since the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza.


Tensions have been high in the region since the US decision on Jerusalem was announced on December 6. 

The status of the city is one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The move drew global condemnation and prompted a series of protests in Gaza and elsewhere.

The Israeli military used tear gas and gunfire to break up protests on Friday.

At least 10 Palestinians were injured in the clashes.

Fifteen people have died, and at least 2,900 others have been injured since Trump’s announcement was made, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

At least 500 people have been arrested, including Fatah leaders in Jerusalem. 

Source: Al Jazeera