IDF strikes Hamas outpost in Gaza Strip after rockets fired at Israel
Israeli aircraft reportedly struck Hamas positions in Gaza after three rockets were fired from the Hamas-run enclave towards southern Israel on Sunday night a week after the last round of rocket fire.According to Palestinian reports, Israeli attack helicopters targeted a Hamas military post in the Zeitoun area east of Gaza City in retaliation for the rocket fire. The rocket fire comes as tensions are high with the blockaded coastal enclave as Hamas and other Gazan terror groups have vowed to oppose Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank.Two of the rockets, which caused thousands of Israelis in southern Israeli communities to run to bomb shelters twice in less than an hour, landed in open fields and caused no damage. The third was intercepted by the Iron Dome.The rocket fire comes as tensions are high with the blockaded coastal enclave as Hamas and other Gazan terror groups have vowed to oppose Israeli plans to annex parts of the West Bank.On Thursday the leaders of Hamas and Fatah, two rival Palestinian factions, held a joint-press conference and announced that they would unite to fight US President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century” and Israel’s annexation plans.“We are now talking about a joint struggle, a campaign on the ground,” senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub said. “We call on all Palestinian factions to see cooperation between Hamas and Fatah as a historic opportunity for a joint fight to establish a Palestinian state and oppose the Israeli occupation.”Calling Hamas a “complete partner” in the plans, Rajoub said that “we are leaving this meeting under one flag, with which we oppose annexation.”A day before the rocket fire last week Hamas warned that the group considered “this wretched decision and plan... as a declaration of war on the Palestinian people.”Following the rocket fire last week IAF jets retaliated by striking a rocket manufacturing workshop and a weapons manufacturing facility belonging to Hamas in the coastal enclave, strikes which “will impede the Hamas terror organization’s future capabilities,” the IDF said in a statement.IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi has warned that the plans to annex the West Bank could easily lead to tensions along the Gaza Strip.Speaking to troops taking part in a military drill in northern Israel last week, Kochavi said that while they were preparing for fighting on one front, they may soon need to shift their attention towards another – the West Bank.“You can find yourself in a few weeks in the Judea and Samaria area because of riots and terror,” he said. And while there have been months of relative quiet with the blockaded coastal enclave, “the upcoming events can develop into fighting in Gaza.”
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