Israeli fighters on Saturday night bombed Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in response to a drone attack earlier in the day.
The IDF stated that it struck a number of Hamas targets, including offensive naval equipment and two military compounds in the north and the center of the Gaza Strip. The strike lasted over 45 minutes.
The strike was carried out in response to an armed drone launched from Gaza that dropped an explosive device on an IDF vehicle earlier in the day. An IAF aircraft fired at the terror cell that launched the drone.
No one was injured in the attack and an IDF vehicle was lightly damaged, but it is considered a significant escalation.
On Friday evening, Gaza-based terrorists launched rockets at Israel. One of the rockets exploded in the city of Sderot, causing damage but no injuries. In response, an IDF tank and the IAF struck a number of Hamas targets in northern Gaza. The IDF is investigating why the Iron Dome defense system did not intercept the rockets.
On Friday afternoon, violent riots took place on the Gaza border, attended by some 6,200 rioters. The IDF noted that the disturbances were of a particularly violent nature this week and included the throwing of a large number of explosive charges, grenades and Molotov cocktails at the fence and IDF forces. Two rioters were killed by IDF fire.
“The IDF will continue to operate against attempts to harm Israeli civilians and considers the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for the Gaza Strip,” it stated.
Amid the high tensions, three 13-year-olds armed with a knife who attempted to infiltrate Israel from Gaza were captured by IDF forces on the border. Shortly after, IDF forces arrested a fourth infiltrator who was armed with two knives.
Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received regular updates throughout Saturday and issued directives for the necessary operations.
“Hamas is responsible for all aggression originating from Gazan territory. Any attempt to harm either our civilians or our soldiers will be met with a vigorous response,” he warned.
The violent weekend on Israel’s southern border occurred just a week and a half before Israel elections. The Islamic Jihad is believed to be behind the escalation and may utilize this tense period to launch further attacks on Israel.