Breaking News Emails
Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
By Lawahez Jabari and Yuliya Talmazan
More than 90 rockets were fired from the Gaza strip into southern Israel Saturday, the Israeli military said, prompting retaliatory attacks on Hamas military posts inside the strip that killed at least one person and injured several others, according to Gazan authorities.
Earlier, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said more than 50 rockets have been fired in half an hour, of which dozens were intercepted by the country’s Iron Dome aerial defense system.
Air-raid sirens sounded across southern Israel, according to the IDF, sending residents running for bomb shelters.
Palestinian Health Ministry officials in Gaza said one Palestinian was killed and four wounded as the result of Israel’s retaliatory air force strikes on Saturday. Ashraf al Qudra, spokesman for the Health Ministry, said the person killed was a 22-year-old civilian.
There were no immediate reports of Israeli casualties.
The IDF said on Twitter that its tanks had begun to strike Hamas military targets.
Israel Police spokesperson Mickey Rosenfeld said there are heightened security measures in the south and increased patrols in cities after the wave of rockets. He said police bomb disposal experts were responding to rockets that have struck open areas in the south.
Saturday’s missile barrage comes after the IDF said that shots were fired at Israeli troops from southern Gaza on Friday, injuring two soldiers.
In response, an IDF aircraft targeted a military post of Hamas, an Islamic militant group that has ruled over the territory since 2007. Hamas said that two of its militants were killed and three were wounded in that strike.
Egyptian mediators, credited with brokering a ceasefire after a Hamas rocket attack north of Tel Aviv in March set off a burst of intense fighting, have been working to prevent any further escalation.
Gaza, which is home to around two million Palestinians, has seen its economy suffer after years of blockades as well as recent foreign aid cuts. Unemployment stands at 52 percent, according to the World Bank.
Israel says its blockade is necessary to stop weapons reaching Hamas, which has fought three wars with Israel in the past decade.