Israel launched on Saturday new strikes on Gaza, two days after an Egyptian-mediated ceasefire agreement on Thursday. Unlike other operations, the new Israeli strikes did not target the Islamic Jihad movement in Palestine, but Hamas, according to both national and international media.
Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement, “In response to the rockets fired from Gaza at Israeli civilians overnight, our forces struck Hamas terror targets in Gaza.” However both rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defence system.
Although Hamas did not claim responsibility for the rockets’ attack against Israel, the IDF said that “Hamas will bear the consequences for actions against Israeli civilians,” warning that Israel will be “prepared for various scenarios”.
Meanwhile, the Israeli army confirmed on Saturday that “no civilians were expected to be in harm’s way,” during the strikes against the Islamic Jihad group, pledging to investigate about the “harm caused to civilians” from an air strike it launched in Gaza.
The ceasefire agreement backed by Egypt was reached on Thursday between Israel and the Islamic Jihad group, aiming to stop the 48-hour firefight sparked by Israel, after the Israeli strike against the home of Islamic Jihad’s commander.
Prompted by that strike, the Islamic Jihad fired at least 220 rockets into Israel. Israel then responded with air strikes, claiming that the strikes only targeted Islamic Jihad militant sites and rockets and missile-launching squads.
The two-day Israeli attack killed 34 Palestinians, said Gaza’s medical officials. However, the deadliest attack was against a house inhabited by 22 people, the families of two brothers in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza. The strike killed eight members of the same family, five of which were children.
On the other side, Israel announced that around 450 rockets had been fired into Israel. Dozens of them were intercepted by the Iron Doom, leaving no Israeli fatalities.