Israel Air Force planes and combat helicopters attacked Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip overnight after incendiary bombs launched by Palestinians in Gaza caused at least 24 fires in Israel.
The IDF said it struck a naval compound, underground infrastructure, and observation posts of the organization belonging to the Iran-backed Hamas terror group that controls Gaza.
“The IDF considers all terrorist activity against Israeli territory to be very serious and will continue to act as necessary against attempts to harm Israeli citizens,” the IDF said in a statement.
“The terrorist organization Hamas bears responsibility for what is happening in and out of the Gaza Strip and will bear the consequences of terrorist acts against Israeli citizens,” the IDF said.
According to Palestinian reports, the targets attacked were east of Beit Hanoun and Deir al-Balah. Some homes in the affected areas were reportedly damaged, but there were no casualties, Channel 13 reported.
In response to the continued attacks from Gaza, Defense Minister Benny Gantz accepted an IDF recommendation and ordered a halt to the import of fuels into the Strip. Earlier, Gantz announced the offshore zone for Gaza fishermen was reduced from 15 to eight nautical miles.
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum responded, saying that “preventing the entry of fuel and goods is aggressive and dangerous behavior and Israel will be responsible for its consequences.”
Hamas has apparently been increasing tensions due to Qatar ending its monthly cash transfers of millions of U.S. dollars for impoverished Palestinians in Gaza, where unemployment under harsh Hamas military rule is over 50 percent.
The Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported from a Palestinian source that Qatar has not yet decided whether to continue its funding to Gaza. The latest grant was due to arrive within 10 days. Hamas is reportedly insisting that Qatar continue to supply the cash along with promoting projects that include employment for residents and the establishment of a field hospital.