Hours after rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza strip the Israeli Air Force responded with targeted strikes on concealed rocket launchers in northern Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement to reporters.
“One rocket, reportedly fired at the town of Sderot, fell inside the Gaza Strip. A second rocket was fired at the Sha’ar HaNegev region,” The Times of Israel reported earlier Tuesday, providing details on the rocket attacks.
IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said that ”The IDF air strikes were conducted in response to the rocket launched at the civilians living in the Sha’ar HaNegev regional council yesterday (Tuesday) evening.”
Explaining the IDF’s actions Lerner asserted Israel’s right to self defense.
“This is an absurd situation that would not be tolerated anywhere else in the world. The IDF is charged with, and will continue to operate in order to safeguard Israel’s civilians, and combat terror and its infrastructure the in the Gaza Strip,” he said, reiterating Israel’s long held position that Hamas, the terror group which controls Gaza “bears the responsibility for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip.”
A frequent occurrence in the past, rocket attacks from Gaza have been limited since a ceasefire last year ended Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense aimed at halting the almost daily attacks.
Tuesday’s rocket attacks coincided with Israel’s release of 26 Palestinian convicts as a goodwill gesture as peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel are set to resume Wednesday in Jerusalem.