Israeli warplanes attack Hamas positions in Gaza Strip

Palestinian sources said Israeli military hit two agricultural areas in Khan Younis and Deir al-Balah.

Flames are seen following an Israeli air attack in the town of Deir al-Balah in the central Gaza Strip [Said Khatib/AFP]

Israeli warplanes have carried out an air raid targeting Hamas positions in the besieged Gaza Strip, according to the Israeli army.

Israeli army spokesman Avichay Adraee said on Twitter that the raids late on Tuesday hit a purported tunnel belonging to the Palestinian group Hamas, adding that the attack had been carried out in response to rocket fire from Gaza.

However, Palestinian witnesses on the ground said two agricultural areas in Khan Younis and Deir al-Balah were hit by three missiles.

Earlier, the Israeli army said a rocket fired from the Khan Younis area had been “intercepted by the Iron Dome” aerial defence system, without indicating if it had caused any casualties or damage.

No group has claimed responsibility for the rocket, nor has any comment been made about it by Palestinian authorities.

No information on casualties from either attack has been reported so far.

Several hours before the rocket was fired from Khan Younis on Tuesday, the Israeli army announced it had found a tunnel that crossed “dozens of metres into Israel from Gaza”.

Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said Israel did not know who had dug the tunnel, but said it held Hamas responsible for all activity in the Palestinian enclave.

Palestinians have used underground tunnels to smuggle all manner of commercial goods into Gaza.

The impoverished and densely populated Gaza Strip has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007, after Hamas took over the coastal enclave.

Hamas and Israel reached an agreement at the end of September to cease hostilities, although attacks continued.

Israel has launched three offensives against the Gaza Strip since 2008, and there have been numerous flare-ups.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies