The Israel Air Force is continuing to retaliate against Gaza terrorists for the rocket fire launched against southern Israeli residents.
At least 15 surgical air strikes were carried out overnight into Thursday, the IDF said in a statement.
Hamas terrorist targets that were eliminated included “concealed rocket launchers, weapon storage facilities and terror activity sites,” the army spokesperson confirmed.
Local residents told international media that 15 people were injured in the air strikes, but the claims were not verified by Israeli sources.
Hamas for the first time in a long stretch took responsibility for several rocket attacks on Wednesday, claiming the attacks were launched to avenge the blood of a young Arab teen who was murdered earlier in the day.
It is not yet clear who killed 16 year old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, whose family apparently has a trouble history but no criminal record, police sources said.
The boy was allegedly kidnapped in Beit Hanina at about 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, and his body was subsequently found in the Jerusalem forest at about 5:00 a.m., burnt and showing signs of other violence.
A black car was seen pulling up next to him in Beit Hanina, and three men allegedly forcing him into the car – but it is not known who they were, or whether they were Arabs or Jews, Israelis or residents of the Palestinian Authority.
Israeli officials sent a warning to Hamas officials in Gaza, informing them that quiet would be met by quiet, but that any more attacks would continue to be met in a similar strong-handed manner. If the attacks do not stop, Israel may soon be forced to stop them using stronger methods, Hamas was warned.
Foreign media outlets noted the Israeli military has begun to move troops towards the Gaza border.
About the Author: Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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