The Gaza Post|The News of Palestine-Gaza
Israeli aircraft struck more than a dozen targets in Gaza, the Israeli army said on Sunday, after Palestinian rocket fire shattered a ceasefire reached just days ago following the worst flare-up since a 2014 war.
The latest escalation came hours after thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of a young female volunteer medic killed by Israeli fire in violence on the border in southern Gaza.
In a first wave of air strikes, Israeli “fighter jets targeted 10 terror sites in three military compounds belonging to the Hamas terror organisation in the Gaza Strip,” the Israeli army said in a statement early on Sunday.
“Among the targets were two Hamas munition manufacturing and storage sites and a military compound,” it said.
The strikes were said to be in retaliation to rockets fired at Israel, as well as “various terror activities approved and orchestrated by the Hamas terror organisation over the weekend,” the army said.
The army listed a series of attempted attacks on soldiers on the border fence, as well as “damaging security infrastructure and igniting fires in Israeli territory with the use of arson kites and balloons”.
A few hours later aircraft shot at “five terror targets at a military compound belonging to the Hamas terror organisation’s naval force in the northern Gaza Strip,” the army said in a separate statement.
There was no report of casualties in Gaza.
On Saturday evening, armed groups in the Palestinian enclave fired two projectiles at southern Israel, where air raid sirens sent residents to bomb shelters.
The Iron Dome aerial defence system intercepted one of the projectiles, while the other was believed to have fallen short of its target and came down in Gaza, according to the army.
Early on Sunday, four more projectiles were launched at Israel. Three were intercepted, the army said, with the fourth apparently hitting an open field.
No group in Gaza claimed responsibility for the projectile attacks, which came shortly after the Saturday funeral of Razan Al Najjar, a 21-year-old volunteer with the Gaza health ministry, who was fatally shot in the chest near Khan Yunis on Friday.
Ambulances and medical crews attended the funeral, with Najjar’s father holding the white blood-stained medics’ jacket she wore when she was killed, as mourners called for revenge.
Gazans have since March 30 staged border protests demanding Palestinians be allowed to return to land they fled or were expelled from during the 1948 war surrounding Israel’s creation, now inside the Jewish state.
More than 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers using live ammunition on protesters. About 13,000 demonstrators have been wounded, more than 3,000 by Israeli gunfire.
As well as protesting, Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave have been using kites carrying burning cans to set ablaze Israeli fields, burning patches of agricultural land near Gaza.
Following the funeral, several Gazans were wounded in clashes east of Khan Yunis, health ministry spokesman Ashraf Al Qudra said.