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Israeli warplanes strike Hamas after rockets fired at Israel

Israeli F-16I "Sufa". (Maj. Ofer, Israeli Air Force/Released)
November 16, 2020

On Sunday morning, Israeli warplanes launched strikes against Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip after two rockets were fired at southern and central Israel.

On Sunday the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted, “2 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel earlier tonight. In response, our forces just struck Hamas underground infrastructure & military posts in Gaza. The IDF is conducting an ongoing situational assessment & remains prepared to operate against any terror activity.”

The Jerusalem Post reported the IDF’s retaliatory strikes for the rocket launches were carried out by Israeli Air Force jets, attack helicopters, and IDF tanks.

The rocket launches set off alarms in Israel and residents in the Israeli cities of Holon, Bat Yam and Tel Aviv’s Yad Eliyahu neighborhood spread reports of explosions on social media. Haaretz reported Israel activated its Iron Dome missile defense system but the system failed to intercept the rockets.

An IDF spokesperson told the Jerusalem Post that Israel “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 Jerusalem Post reported no group had claimed responsibility for the rocket launches but that Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned that Israel holds Hamas responsible.

“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,” Gantz said, as the Jerusalem Post reported. “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.”

The Israeli publication Haaretz reported a source within Hamas claimed the rockets were launched due to a malfunction caused by lightning and that they did not intend to fire the weapons.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “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.”

Israel’s i24 News reported the rocket fire did not cause any damage or injuries in Israel.