Israel bombs Gaza overnight after rocket attack
Published Sunday 06/04/2014 (updated) 07/04/2014 11:11
A picture taken on April 4, 2014 shows the reflection of a Palestinian
man as he inspects the damage following an overnight Israeli air strike
on Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip (AFP/File Mohammed Abed)
GAZA CITY (AFP) -- Israeli warplanes attacked several sites in the Gaza Strip Sunday, sources on both sides said, hours after a rocket from the besieged Palestinian enclave hit Israel.
Palestinian medical and security sources said five sites in northern and southern Gaza were hit, including training camps for the militant Islamic Jihad and Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing.
Spokesman for the Gaza Strip ministry of health Ashraf al-Qidra said that no injuries were reported.
The Israeli army said in a statement it "retaliated" to "ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza," targeting four "terror sites" in northern Gaza and a fifth in the south of the coastal territory.
On Saturday night, a rocket fired from Gaza hit an open area in southern Israel without causing damage or injuries, the army and police said.
On Thursday, four rockets fired from the Palestinian enclave landed in Israel, shortly after Israel announced it had called off the planned release of 26 Palestinian prisoners.
Although Hamas -- which runs the Gaza Strip -- and Israel have maintained a fragile ceasefire since Nov. 2012, militant groups in the besieged Palestinian coastal enclave frequently launch rockets into Israel.
The majority of these attacks, which primarily involve homemade projectiles, land harmlessly in open areas across southern Israel.
The most recent flare up came in mid-March, when militant groups fired dozens of rockets after Israeli forces reportedly killed six Palestinians -- including three near the border with Gaza -- in a twenty-four hour period.
Israeli forces responded with air strikes, but the ceasefire was soon re-activated with Egyptian intervention.
Israel has maintained a severe economic blockade on the Gaza Strip's 1.7 million residents since 2006.
The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.