Israeli warplane strikes Gaza in response to rocket fire
GAZA STRIP (BNO NEWS) — An Israeli Air Force aircraft on early Sunday morning targeted an underground tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed.
An IDF spokesperson said it carried out the bombing in response to three military-use projectiles fired from Gaza at Israel on Saturday. They landed in southern Israel without causing damage or casualties.
“In response to recent rocket fire emanating from the Gaza Strip into Israeli communities over the weekend, an Israeli Air Force aircraft targeted overnight a terror tunnel in the northern Gaza Strip. A direct hit was confirmed,” an IDF spokesperson said. “Tunnels such as this one are intended for infiltrating into Israel and executing terror attacks against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers.”
There were no immediate reports of casualties from the Gaza Strip as a result of the airstrike.
“The IDF will not allow southern Israeli communities to live under constant threat of rocket fire, and will continue to respond with determination in any attempt to use terror against the citizens of Israel,” the IDF spokesperson warned. “The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip.”
In March, Israel deployed its first Iron Dome missile defense system in light of the recent rocket attacks in southern Israel. The Iron Dome system uses sophisticated radar, manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries, to track incoming missiles, intercept and destroy them before they reach their targets. It also includes Tamir missile interceptors.
In the winter of 2008-2009, Israel launched a surprise airstrike against the Gaza Strip which marked the beginning of a three-week military conflict between Israel and Hamas, killing nearly 1,500 people and leaving thousands more injured and displaced. Israel stated its aim was top stop rocket fire from and arms import into Gaza.
In 2010, the Israeli Security Agency reported a total of 150 rocket launches from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. It represented a significant drop from 569 launches in 2009, although 407 of them were launched during Operation Cast Lead.