JERUSALEM – Suspected Palestinian militants in the Gaza strip fired on Sunday at least five rockets at Israel with Israel Defense Forces responding with strikes on Hamas military posts.
The IDF said the rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip, which is under Islamist organization of Hamas since 2007. Anti-aircraft alarms sounded continuously in the regional councils of Eshkol, forcing residents to run for shelters.
The incident is the latest in a series of recent reciprocal missile launches from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes which came amid reports in various Arab media outlets that Hamas had claimed a ceasefire had been brokered by Egypt.
The IDF said in a tweet that five “rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel.”
Around 3:30 local time (0030 GMT), the IDF said in a statement that several Hamas posts had been attacked in response.
“In response to the rockets fired from Gaza at Israel earlier this evening, IDF tanks struck a number of Hamas military posts in the Gaza Strip,” the military said.
On Saturday, tens of thousands of protesters gathered along the Gaza border to commemorate the first anniversary of demonstrations, the “March of Return,” which was launched last year.
The march was aimed at to draw attention to the Palestinians’ right of return to homes lost in the 1948 war and who are now inside Israel.
The Palestinians also protested against Israel’s blockade and urge it to help fix the chronic power outage problem.
The escalation in violence between the two sides began on March 24 when a rocket fired from Gaza struck a home in Tel Aviv, wounding seven members of a family, including children.
The IDF said that Palestinian militants had launched 30 rockets and mortar shells at Israel on Monday night, with the Israeli air force responding by striking around 15 targets in northern Gaza.
The Palestinians have also started a new type of assault, launching kites or balloons with incendiary material across the border, which has caused hundreds of fires.
According to the World Health Organization, a year of protests in Gaza has left thousands of people maimed and injured, including a teenager. There are estimated to be more than 6,500 wounded.