JERUSALEM: Israeli warplanes blasted Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday in a fresh round of retaliation after a Palestinian cross-border raid the day before, the army said.
“Israel Air Force aircraft struck an underground terror infrastructure belonging to the Hamas terror organisation in the northern Gaza Strip, and two additional military targets belonging to the Hamas terror organisation’s naval force,” a military statement said in English.
“The strikes were conducted in response to the event that took place yesterday morning, during which a number of terrorists infiltrated into Israel and set a military post on fire,” it said.
An Israeli tank fired at a Hamas position Tuesday after Gazans broke through the border fence and torched an unmanned military position.
There were no reports of casualties from Wednesday’s strikes, one of which set a boat alight in the Gaza City fishing port.
Tensions between Israel and Gaza have spiralled since March 30, when Palestinians began protesting for the right to return to the homes their families fled or were expelled from in 1948, during the war surrounding the creation of Israel.
A total of at least 118 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since then, according to authorities in Gaza, which is run by the Islamist movement Hamas.
No Israelis have been killed during that time.
The protests peaked on May 14, the day the United States moved its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Tens of thousands protested on the Gaza border that day, with 62 killed by Israeli gunfire.
Israel says its actions are necessary to defend the border and stop mass infiltrations from the territory.
It accuses Hamas, with whom it has fought three wars since 2008, of seeking to use the protests as cover to carry out violence.—AFP