Israel strikes more targets in Gaza after fresh rocket attacks

TEL AVIV/BEIRUT/GAZA CITY: Israel’s air force struck fighter targets in the Gaza Strip shortly on Monday, hours after overnight airstrikes against the Palestinian group in Syria left six fighters dead.
The latest airstrikes came after a fresh barrage of 14 rockets fired from Gaza at southern Israel, of which the country’s Iron Dome aerial defence system intercepted 12, a military statement said.
Sirens sounded in the town of Sderot, adjacent to the north-east of the Gaza Strip, and elsewhere in southern Israel amid the fresh barrage.
Fighters claimed responsibility for a barrage of rockets and mortar shells launched at Israel on Sunday, also from the Strip. Those came hours after Israeli soldiers shot dead a member of the group’s armed wing, who was planting an explosive device at the heavily secured border fence with Israel.
Mobile phone footage filmed by a Palestinian activist showed an Israeli army bulldozer scooping up the dead activist’s body, for use as a bargaining chip to trade against the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza War and still held in the coastal enclave.
They said the rockets were revenge for Israel’s treatment of the “activist’s” body.
The movement is not part of an informal truce “understanding” brokered by Egypt between Israel and the Hamas movement ruling the Gaza Strip.
The latest escalation comes a week before an unprecedented third parliamentary election within a year in Israel. Following the barrages, school lessons were called off and roads closed in southern Israel.
The overnight Israeli airstrikes targeting the IJ and fighters in Syria, south of Damascus, killed two Palestinian members of the IJ and four from the fighters, among them one Syrian national, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
— dpa