Israel is bombing Gaza after rocket fire

The Israeli army has bombed targets in the Gaza Strip overnight after a rocket was fired from the blockaded Palestinian territory.

Israeli attacks were recorded in at least three locations in Hamas-governed Gaza, Palestinian security sources and witnesses said, with Hamas bases struck near the southern city of Rafah and Gaza City, as well as an empty area in the centre of Gaza.

The interior ministry in Gaza said in a statement the attack from Israel caused damage but it did not provide specifics.

Ashraf al-Qidra, Palestinian health ministry spokesman, said no casualities were recorded as a result of the attacks.

Ovijaa Odraei, Israeli army spokesperson, said the strikes were in “response to projectile fire” launched from Gaza.

The rocket was claimed by a previously unheard-of Salafist group, but Odraei said on Facebook that Hamas was responsible for any attack on Israel because Gaza was under Hamas rule.

In a statement, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum accused Israel of fabricating false claims of rocket fire in order to justify strikes in Gaza.

He said Israel is playing what he called “a dangerous and transparent game”.

Hamas leaders earlier this month said they were not interested in escalating tensions, even as electricity cuts requested by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and facilitated by Israel, threatened to lead to new violence.

This was echoed by Avidgor Lieberman, Israeli defence minister, on Monday, who said Israel has “no intention of launching a military operation” against Gaza.


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