Israel mounted a series of strikes on terrorist targets Monday in the Gaza Strip after a rocket fired from northern Gaza exploded in an open area south of Ashkelon. A siren sounded across the area seconds before the explosion, which caused no harm.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) canvassed the area for the projectile, and shortly afterward IDF tanks fired artillery shells at a Hamas post in the northern Gaza neighborhood of Beit Lahiya. The Israeli Air Force carried out a second strike against Hamas infrastructure in the enclave’s north and south Monday evening.
“The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist group responsible for what transpires in Gaza,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said.
One defense official said the targets struck Monday were “very significant” to Hamas. The official said that while the scope of the strike was unusual, considering Israel’s prudent policy, an opportunity had presented itself to destroy these significant targets.
Another defense official said it was highly unlikely that Hamas would pursue a security escalation at this time, and that Monday’s fire was most likely the work of a rogue terrorist group.