Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza in response to rocket attack
Israeli warplanes hit the Gaza Strip early Thursday following a rocket attack in Ashkelon. (AFP/File)
The IDF spokesperson's office released a statement saying that the IDF viewed with severity the rocket attack on Israel and that it would not tolerate attempts to harm Israeli citizens.
The IDF said that Hamas was responsible for the attack.
A rocket was launched from Gaza towards Israel early Thursday morning causing rocket alert sirens to sound near Ashkelon in the Lakhish Regional Council and in Gaza border communities. According to the military, the projectile exploded in an open area near Ashkelon.
Security forces were searching for rocket remnants.
On Tuesday, rocket sirens sounded in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council but the army later confirmed that there was no rocket launch and the sirens were a false alarm.
Rocket launchings have become an almost weekly occurrence from the coastal strip recently but no militant group took immediate responsibility for the attack.
"The repeated rocket fire at Israel ... is a deliberate decision to target civilians. No person should live under the threat of terrorism," Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said in a statement.
Last month, Gazan militants fired a single rocket at southern Israel, that prompted a response by the Israel Air Force that targeted a rocket launcher in the northern part of the coastal territory.
"Hamas is the address and it bears responsibility," the IDF said at the time.
A group that sympathizes with al-Qaeda, who have defied Hamas, have been blamed for strikes on Israel over the past months, none of which caused injuries or damage.
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