Israel carries out series of strikes on Hamas sites in Gaza

Palestinian protesters watch on during clashes with Israeli forces near the border fence with Israel, east of Gaza on December 12, 2017. (AFP)

Israel carried out a series of air strikes against Hamas in Gaza early Thursday, the army said, hours after rockets were fired at the Jewish state from the Palestinian enclave.

In a statement the Israeli army said they had targeted three Hamas military facilities in different parts of the Gaza Strip, which Hamas controls. “The military facilities were used as training and weapons storage compounds,” the statement said.

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“This was in response to the projectiles fired at Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip earlier this evening.”

A Palestinian security source said there were more than 10 strikes on the targets, which included a Hamas naval site and a military base near the Shati refugee camp in northern Gaza.

A Palestinian child while standing near a house that was damaged in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on December 13, 2017. (Reuters)

A Palestinian child while standing near a house that was damaged in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on December 13, 2017. (Reuters)

Significant damage

The source said there had been significant damage to the sites, as well as more minor damage to nearby houses, causing minor injuries. There was no initial confirmation of injuries from the ministry of health in Gaza.

The strikes came hours after Israel’s missile defense system intercepted two rockets fired from Gaza. The rockets are often fired by small groups but Israel holds Gaza’s rulers Hamas responsible for any attacks from the territory.

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The army also announced it would close off the main goods crossing between Gaza and Israel from Thursday “due to the security events and in accordance with security assessments”.

There has been an uptick in violence from Gaza since US President Donald Trump announced he would recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last Wednesday. Four Gazans have been killed, two in clashes along the border and two Hamas militants in an Israeli airstrike.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:55 - GMT 06:55
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