Israeli planes hit Gaza after rocket fire

Israeli planes launched raids against Gaza late Thursday in response to rocket fire, as mediators sought to broker an end to the latest flare-up.

Rockets were fired at Israel but crashed inside the Palestinian enclave, according to witnesses and Gaza security sources.

Palestinian sources reported light damage but no casualties after the raid in Khan Yunis, southern Gaza.

The latest exchanges followed anti-tank fire by the Israeli army in the morning against Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed the air strikes on Twitter.

“Our Air Force just struck a Hamas military compound used for rocket ammunition manufacturing in Gaza in response,” the IDF wrote.

“We hold Hamas responsible for all terror activity emanating from Gaza,” it added.

Israel has bombed Gaza almost every night since August 6 in retaliation for the balloons or, less frequently, rocket fire, from across the border.

It has also tightened its 13-year blockade of Gaza’s two million inhabitants.

It has banned Gaza fishermen from going to sea and closed its goods crossing with the territory, prompting the closure of Gaza’s sole power plant because of a lack of fuel.

“Explosive and arson balloons were launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel,” a military statement said early Thursday.

“In response… tanks targeted military posts belonging to the Hamas terror organisation in the Gaza Strip.”

Gaza security officials said the fire hit Hamas observation posts near Al-Maghazi and Al-Bureij refugee camps and the town of Khan Yunis, without causing casualties.

Since the exchanges erupted two weeks ago, Israeli reprisals had mainly involved warplanes, and Gaza security sources said the switch to tanks could be an attempt to de-escalate. (AFP)

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