The Israeli military announced in the early hours of Monday morning that it carried out strikes against four military compounds occupied by Hamas in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire from the Islamist terrorist group.
“Terrorists in Gaza fired rockets at Israel for the 3rd night in a row, endangering lives in Gaza and Israel. In response, we struck 4 Hamas compounds used for military training, a weapons workshop & an entrance to an underground terrorist tunnel,” the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said on Twitter.
The IDF said that its Iron Dome system had earlier intercepted “mid-air” two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel towards civilian areas.
In a separate statement, the IDF said that it struck a Hamas military post in Khan Yunis following the second rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, noting that it housed a machine gun which was used to fire toward Israel.
“Once again, the terrorist organization Hamas chooses to act in the ways of terrorism over the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip,” the IDF said in a statement. “The IDF will not accept a situation in which terrorist organizations act against the Israeli home front.”
It marked the third consecutive night of fighting between the two sides.
Tension between Israel and the Palestinians has risen over the past week, after six Palestinian militants escaped from a maximum security Israeli jail on Monday. Israeli forces have since captured four of the escapees.
Drawing Israeli air strikes, Gaza militants fired a rocket into Israel on Friday when two of the prisoners were apprehended and then again on Saturday, after two more escaped inmates were caught. The Israeli military said it struck targets belonging to Hamas, the extremist group that rules Gaza. There were no reports of casualties.
A fragile truce between Israel and Hamas ended 11 days of fierce fighting in May in which at least 250 Palestinians and 13 in Israel were killed.
On Sunday afternoon, Israeli army Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi warned Hamas that the IDF will “vigorously respond to every violation.”
“The Israel Defense Force defends the Gaza border and will not accept any violation of sovereignty,” Kohavi said. “If the situation escalates, Hamas and the Gaza Strip will pay a heavy price.”
Reuters contributed to this report.