The Israel Air Force began attacking targets in Gaza on Thursday night in response to the rocket fire on central Israel earlier in the evening.
Shortly after the start of the IDF attack in Gaza, sirens were sounded in the Eshkol Regional Council and later in the Shaar Hanegev and Sdot Negev councils.
At least three rockets were fired toward southern Israel. One rocket missed its target and exploded inside Gaza. Another rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome.
The Palestinian Arab channel Al-Rad reported that the IDF attacked 10 Hamas and Islamic Jihad posts in Gaza. The Hamas-run “health ministry” in Gaza said there were no injuries in the Israeli attacks.
Meanwhile, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed that Hamas was responsible for the rocket attack on central Israel.
Earlier on Thursday evening, Prime Minister and Defense Minister Binyamin Netanyahu held security consultations at the Kirya in Tel Aviv.
A political source said at the end of the consultation that “decisions were made” regarding Israel’s response.
The consultation was attended by Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, the head of the National Security Council Meir Ben-Shabbat, Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) Director Nadav Argaman and senior members of the defense establishment.
At about 9:00 p.m. on Thursday evening, an alarm sounded in Tel Aviv and throughout Gush Dan following the firing of two rockets from Gaza.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit stated that “the warning and detection systems acted as required. Interception of air defense systems was not carried out. There is no known damage or injuries in the incident and there are no special instructions for the home front.”
Sources in Gaza confirmed that the rockets were indeed fired from the Gaza Strip, but it is still not clear which organization is behind the rocket fire.
Both the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist organizations issued formal statements claiming that they had nothing to do with the rocket fire at central Israel.
Hamas even went so far as to promise it would take action against those responsible for the rocket fire on central Israel.
“The rocket fire was carried out without the consent of the Palestinian factions. The security forces in the Gaza Strip will take measures against those who violated the national consensus,” said Hamas’ “interior ministry” in Gaza.