Israel Carries Out Fresh Strikes on Gaza
Israel carried out fresh strikes on Gaza targeting Hamas early Saturday after rockets were fired towards it from the Palestinian enclave, the army said, despite a ceasefire that began two days ago.
Unlike earlier operations, the army said the strikes did not target Islamic Jihad, but Hamas, which has de facto control over Gaza and so far has kept out of the violence that erupted this week.
"Two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory" and were intercepted by air defenses, the Israeli army said.
It added that it was "currently striking Hamas terror targets" in Gaza.
Palestinian security sources said the Israeli strikes were aimed at two Hamas sites in the north of the territory.
On Tuesday, Israel carried out an operation that killed a top commander of Islamic Jihad.
That strike triggered almost immediate retaliatory rocket fire from Islamic Jihad at Israel, setting off air-raid sirens and sending Israelis rushing to bomb shelters in the country's southern and central regions.
Israel's military said around 450 rockets were fired at its territory in the fighting and air defenses had intercepted dozens of them in fireballs high in the sky.
It then responded with its own air strikes, saying it targeted more Islamic Jihad militant sites and rocket- and missile-launching squads.
After two days of violence -- which left 34 Palestinians dead in exchanges of fire, with no Israeli casualties -- a ceasefire brokered by Egypt was agreed that was put in place on Thursday morning.
But the ceasefire has so far been precarious, with Israel launching fresh air strikes on Gaza and rocket fire coming from the enclave after it went into effect.
Israel's military said on Friday it was investigating "harm caused to civilians" from an air strike it carried out in Gaza that Palestinian medics said killed eight members of one family including five children.
On Thursday, in the final hours before the Egyptian-mediated truce took hold, residents and medical workers said an Israeli missile struck and destroyed a house in Dir al-Balah, killing eight of the family members inside.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said on Friday that Israeli forces had hit what she described as an "Islamic Jihad military infrastructure" in the central Gaza town on Thursday morning.
"According to the information available to the Israeli army at the time of the strike, no civilians were expected to be harmed as a result of the strike," she said.
The army “is investigating the harm caused to civilians by the strike,” she added.