Israeli army responds to missile fire from Gaza


The Israeli army bombed Hamas targets in Gaza in response to missile fire last night.

Three missiles were fired from Gaza toward Israel. One exploded in the Ashkelon beach area, damaging the external wall of a house and a family car. A second exploded in open area, causing no damage or injury. A third missile landed inside the Gaza Strip.

According to Tamir Idan, head of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, sirens sounded in communities near the Gaza border prior before the missiles landed. “We expect and demand that the security forces issue a strong response, and clarify to the terrorists that the State of Israeli will not allow the fire to continue. We will not accept a situation in which emergency becomes routine,” Idan added.

The Israel Defence Forces said overnight strikes targeted a Hamas training compound in the northern Gaza Strip, destroying three structures and other “terror infrastructure” belonging to Hamas. Israel holds Hamas responsible for all hostile acts emanating from the Gaza Strip.

Two days ago a missile was fired at Israel, but fell short and hit a house belonging to an Egyptian family in the northern Gaza city area of Beit Hanoun. Since 6 December, 27 missiles have been fired at Israel from Gaza, of which 15 have either landed in Israel or been intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Also yesterday a Palestinian assailant carrying two pipe bombs was arrested outside a West Bank military court. Security forces at the entrance discovered the bombs when the assailant was asked to remove his coat. Bomb disposal experts were called to the scene and disposed of the explosives.

The Israeli army confirmed that last Friday’s protests against US President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement involved approximately 2,500 Palestinians in the West Bank and 3,500 in Gaza. Protestors burned tyres and threw firebombs and rocks at IDF and Border Police forces. The IDF responded by shooting at protestors who broke through the Gaza border fence and using other riot dispersal techniques. Two Palestinians, including a wheelchair-bound amputee, were killed by the IDF on the Gaza border. The army are investigating the exact circumstances of the two deaths.