Tension escalated in the Gaza Strip on Monday with the launch of Israeli air strikes against Hamas targets, in response to the firing of a missile from the area.
An Israeli army spokesman said that warplanes and helicopters raided a number of terrorist targets affiliated with Hamas in the Gaza Strip and targeted “underground infrastructure of Hamas.” This came in response to “a missile launch from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, which was intercepted by the Iron Dome System.”
On Sunday evening, the Israeli army announced that a missile launch had been detected from the Gaza Strip, which had been intercepted by air defenses. Sirens went off in Israeli communities in the western Negev region, adjacent to the Gaza Strip, and residents reported hearing explosions.
A spokesman for the Municipal Council of Shaar HaNegev said that the missile did not result in any material or human losses.
The last rocket launch from the besieged Gaza Strip towards Israeli settlements was reported in July. Monday’s escalation coincided with the formal assumption by Brigadier Nimrod Aloni of the command of the Gaza Division in the Israeli army, succeeding Brigadier Eliezer Toledano.
Hamas said the Israeli bombing of the resistance sites in the Gaza Strip was a message of escalation and aggression.
Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the movement, said in a press statement on Monday that the Israeli escalation “was aimed at exporting the occupation’s internal crises to the people of the Gaza Strip and diverting attention from the deteriorating political developments and conditions.”
“The valiant resistance, which is well aware of the occupation’s plans, will not allow Gaza to be an arena for exporting these crises,” he added.
Hamas and Israel have engaged in three wars in recent years (2008, 2012, and 2014). While both sides believe that a new confrontation is a matter of time, they are trying to avoid it at the current stage.