IDF retaliates again for phosphorous shells, mortars fired at Negev communities earlier Friday
The Air Force bombed smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip Friday night, and direct hits were identified, the IDF said in a statement. No injuries were reported.
"The strike was carried out in response to the rockets and mortar shells fired at the western Negev over the past day," the statement said, adding that the army was holding Hamas responsible for the attacks
Palestinian sources reported that the Air Force bombed two targets in the Gaza Strip Friday afternoon, after four phosphorous bombs were launched into Israel along with three mortar shells.
The sources say six people were injured in the strikes – including two women and a child. An unoccupied building in Deir al-Balah collapsed upon being hit, and two other strikes took place in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis. Sources say one of the targets there was an Islamic Jihad training facility.
Three of the shells hit open areas in the Eshkol Regional Council, and the other four - fired an hour later - landed in open areas in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council. There were no reports of injuries or damage.
The Popular Resistance Committee's Salah al-Din Brigades claimed responsibility for the fire, saying it was a response to recent assassinations in Gaza.
The escalation in the south follows the assassination of two senior members of the al-Qaeda affiliated Army of Islam group by the Israel Defense Forces earlier this month.
Abu Mujahed, a PRC spokesman in Gaza, said that "the firing by Palestinian organizations from the Gaza Strip is part of our right to respond to the Israeli crimes and the recent assassinations."
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