Photo Credit: Edi Israel / Flash 90
An Israeli Apache helicopter opens fire over Gaza.

The Israel Air Force and Navy collaborated in attacks on Gaza overnight Thursday into the wee hours of Friday morning following the second rocket attack fired from the enclave on southern Israel in two days.

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Israeli aircraft struck multiple Hamas terrorist sites in Gaza early Friday morning to retaliate for a direct hit by a rocket that struck a Sderot yeshiva building in southern Israel late Thursday night.

“IDF fighter planes and aircraft attacked a number of terrorist targets, including terrorist infrastructures in military compounds, as well as a military compound belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in the Gaza Strip,” the IDF Spokesperson said in a statement shortly after 3 am Friday.

“The IDF will continue to act against attempts to harm Israeli citizens and considers the terrorist organization Hamas responsible for everything in and out of the Gaza Strip,” the IDF Spokesperson added.

Speaking in response to the attack, Mayor Alon Davidi called a large-scale military operation in Gaza, and for targeted assassinations against Gaza terrorist leaders, saying, “This situation can not continue. As I said in the past, only a military operation will bring quiet to our area.”

READ: Sderot Mayor Calls for ‘Military Operation’ in Gaza to End Rocket Attacks

Israeli aircraft targeted a number of sites in the Gaza Strip, including a site east of the Zeitoun neighborhood and the Tunis military post, both east of Gaza City, as well as the new port in southern Gaza, and an underground terrorist tunnel.

More strikes were expected as Israeli combat aircraft maintained an “intensive” presence in the skies over Gaza. Hamas terrorist commanders ordered all active military posts, training and other bases evacuated immediately in anticipation of Israeli air strikes.

“The threats of the leadership of the occupation aimed at collecting votes for the upcoming elections do not scare our people,” Hamas spokesperson Hazam Kasem said in a statement.

The Israeli Navy also attacked the enclave, and continued to maintain a vigilant presence from the direction of the Mediterranean Sea.

Artillery fire was reported by local residents in the southern Gaza city of Rafiah, and explosions were reported in the southern city of Khan Younis.

Residents of the southern Gaza neighborhood of Tapuach reported a widespread power outage at around 2 am.

Sources said Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization also held discussions overnight to debate the question of whether to proceed with the enclave’s planned weekly violence at the border with Israel, set to take place within just a few more hours, given the current security situation.

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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.