Gaza militants fired 11 rockets over the border overnight in response to two late-night Israeli air raids, ending several days of calm after a truce took effect, the Israeli military said yesterday.
The Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, which went into force early on Thursday, was aimed at ending 72 hours of bloodshed which killed eight militants and saw armed groups firing more than 100 rockets at Israel, severely wounding two people.
“Overnight, 11 rockets were fired at Israel,” an Israeli military spokesman said, noting that another seven rockets had been fired across the border on Sunday.
The rocket fire came after the Israeli air force carried out two late-night air strikes on targets in northern and southern Gaza. No one was injured.
“In response to the incessant rocket fire at southern Israel, IAF [Israeli Air Force] aircraft targeted a rocket launching site and a terror activity site in the northern Gaza Strip, as well as a terror activity site in the southern Gaza Strip,” a military statement said.
Palestinian witnesses and security sources confirmed the two raids, which took place late on Sunday, saying one house was destroyed, but no one was hurt.
Sunday’s rocket fire, which caused no injuries or damage, was sparked after a deadly Israeli air strike killed a Hamas militant and injured a second.
The early-morning strike took place after militants began firing mortar shells at Israeli troops who had crossed the fence into Gaza in an area near the southern city of Khan Yunis, medics and witnesses said.
The dead man was named as Suleiman Kamel al-Qara, 25, a member of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Gaza’s ruling Islamist Hamas movement.
The wounded man was also said to be a Hamas militant.
The military confirmed the strike, but refused to comment on the allegation Israeli armor had entered the Palestinian territory and come under fire from militants.
During the day, militants fired seven rockets at Israel, two of which struck the southern city of Beersheva, which is home to 194,000 people, causing schools to be canceled for the day.
Militants from the Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for both of the rockets.
Israeli army statistics indicate that armed groups have fired more than 160 rockets over the border since the start of this month.