The Israel Air Force struck four Hamas terror targets in northern Gaza on Saturday following a barrage of rocket attacks fired at southern Israel on Friday night.
Red alert sirens activated in Sderot and the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council district, sending families scrambling for cover shortly after 10 pm.
Four Qassam rockets launched from Gaza exploded in open fields around the district within seconds after the alerts sounded.
Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization claimed responsibility for the attack.
The rocket attack was “just one example of extremist incessant efforts to threaten the security and safety of the people of southern Israel,” said IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. “The IDF will continue to act to protect against those who threaten innocent lives and Israel’s sovereignty.”
In response, Israeli fighter pilots were in the skies over Gaza by morning to retaliate. Local sources said missiles landed near a Hamas training base.
Hamas officials told international media that a family home near Beit Lahiya was hit by debris from the attack, allegedly killing two Arab siblings, ages 10 and 6, in the process.
Alon Shuster, head of the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, expressed sorrow for the Gazan casualties. Still, he said, “These injuries are a result of the justified response of the State of Israel to the aggression against it. Our residents not only demand quiet, they also are creating a routine: Just after the (rocket) fire, my son went out to a party set for that time in [local community] Nahal Oz.”
Tazpit Press Service contributed to this article.Hana Levi Julian