The first was launched shortly before 9 PM on Friday, activating air raid sirens that sent residents of the Re’im Kibbutz rushing for bomb shelters within less than 15 seconds in accordance with instructions from the IDF Home Front Command. No injuries or damage were reported in the attack.
In an immediate retaliatory response, IDF aircraft targeted a military post belonging to the Islamist Hamas organization in the northern Gaza Strip. While the terror installation sustained devastating damage, no operatives were reportedly killed.
Some two hours later around 11 PM, another salvo of incoming rockets sent an estimated quarter-of-a-million Israelis living near the Gaza border including the southern city of Ashkelon rushing to seek refuge. No injuries or damage were reported in this attack, either, as all of the incoming projectiles exploded in uninhabited areas.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit announced that “in response, IDF fighter jets and aircraft struck Hamas terror targets in the northern Gaza Strip.” The Israeli military further underscored that it “views all types of fire directed at Israel with great severity,” and vowed to “continue operating as necessary against attempts to harm Israeli civilians.”
The IDF also repeated that “Hamas is responsible for everything that takes place within the Gaza Strip and emanates from it and will bear the consequences for all terror activity targeting Israeli civilians.”
During the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again reiterated Jerusalem’s position that Hamas will be targeted in retaliation for any terror-related activities originating from the territory under its control., Netanyahu told the ministers “One of the basic concepts of what used to be called ‘international law’, a network of ideas that had depth before it was twisted by very distorted decisions by the international court, was that a government is responsible for its territory, in the sense that it was responsible for any attempted attack originating from its territory against another country.” After saying, “We operate according to this principle,” Netanyahu stressed, “I do not want anyone to err. We are acting against Islamic Jihad, as it is our right to act against all terrorist elements; however, we have not absolved Hamas of responsibility for any offensive action against us originating from the Gaza Strip.”
“This was and remains our policy,” said the Israeli leader, underscoring “To this end, over the weekend the IDF acted in response to terrorist actions originating in Gaza; thus it has been, and thus we will continue – Hamas is responsible.”