Israeli military strikes Hamas targets in response to rocket fire

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Nov. 15 (UPI) — Israel’s military, in response to two rockets launched toward the center of the nation, struck Hamas military structure Monday morning.

Israeli Air Force jets, attack helicopters and Israel Defense Forces tanks targeted “underground infrastructure and military posts of the terror group Hamas in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF Spokespersons Unit said in a statement.

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“The IDF is conducting an ongoing situational assessment and will act firmly and resolutely against any attempt to carry out terror activity against the citizens of the State of Israel and the violation of its sovereignty,” the statement added.

Earlier at 2 a.m., two rockets were fired, activating incoming rocket sirens in the southern city of Ashdod and in communities in the Shfela region of central Israel, including Kibbutz Palmachim about 37 miles from the Gaza Strip. Thousands went to shelters.

No damage or injuries were reported. Shrapnel from an Iron Dome interception missile fell in Bat Yam south of Tel Aviv, Mayor Zvika Brot said.

One of the rockets did not trigger sirens and the other caused them to sound in Ashdod and the coastal region in south-central Israel.

No one has claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.

“This morning, the IDF attacked Hamas infrastructure and targets in the Gaza Strip,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during the opening of the cabinet meeting. “We will not accept any attacks against the State of Israel and the citizens of Israel.

“I warn the terror organizations in Gaza, even during the Corona crisis — do not test us. I never list our operational plans, but I’m warning them — the price of continued aggression will be heavy, very heavy.”

Defense Minister Benny Gantz also warned Hamas.

“It was a restless night in the south of the country, and there is one person responsible for it – Hamas,” Gantz said during a ceremony marking Operation Kadesh. “If Hamas does not stand the test of peace-the results will be dire first of all for its leadership and for the residents of the Gaza Strip.

“I would like to tell the residents of the south that we are working in several directions, both operational and in other ways, in order to bring about long-term peace,.” He added that “we will continue our response to the violation of our sovereignty, beyond what we have done, in a time, place and manner that will serve our long-term needs, of the citizens of Israel and the State of Israel, in the south of the country.”

It was the one-year anniversary of the killing of Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Baha Abu al-Ata.

Because of concerns the terror group might fire rockets toward Israel, IDF had deployed Iron Dome missile defense batteries throughout the south.

A Hamas officials went to Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday for talks with Egyptian intelligence officials, according to reports in Gaza.