GAZA — Israeli warplanes at the dawn of Wednesday attacked military sites belonging to Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip, in response to rockets fired from the coastal enclave into Israeli towns, Palestinian security sources reported.
The sources and witnesses told Xinhua that Palestinian residents nearby heard massive explosions caused by the Israeli air strikes. The sources said that no injuries were reported, but the air strikes caused considerable damage to the bombed places and nearby houses in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian militants responded to the Israeli air strikes with anti-aircraft fire and more home-made rockets fired into the southern Israeli town of Sderot, the sources added. The Islamic Jihad movement and al-Nasser brigades said in a press statement that they launched 13 rockets against Israeli towns.
“The Palestinian resistance will continue its adhere to the equation of shelling by shelling, even in light of the fragile truce agreement concluded between Hamas and Israel through international mediation,” the statement said.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army said in a press statement that the “Israeli raids came in response to the launch of rockets from the coastal enclave into Israeli towns.”
“We are working with determination against any attempt to commit acts against our residents in the towns adjacent to the coastal enclave,” the statement said.
Rocket-warning sirens were activated in the town of Sderot and around Gaza, an Israeli army spokesman said, adding that Israel’s Iron Dome anti-rocket system tried to intercept the Palestinian rockets.
On Tuesday evening, two rockets fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza struck the southern Israeli cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, injuring two people, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said on Twitter. The rocket attacks on Ashkelon and Ashdod came as Israel signed agreements to normalize diplomatic ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in Washington.
Tensions have been running high in the Gaza Strip for several weeks as Palestinian youths send incendiary balloons towards Israeli cities adjacent to the strip and Israel refused to allow the transfer of Qatari money to the besieged Palestinian enclave.