By Chase Lacy
Rabat- Early this morning Israeli airstrikes struck 25 targets reportedly linked to Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Israel claims the strikes were in response to a barrage of 45 rockets and mortals fired into Israeli territory.
The Israeli military reported that three of the Palestinian rockets prematurely landed in Gazan territory, and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system intercepted seven of the rockets.
Three Palestinians were allegedly injured in the Israeli airstrikes, but no Israeli casualties from the mortars and rockets have been reported.
The rocket fire came after the Israeli military announced it had targeted Hamas infrastructure in response to “arson balloons.” Palestinians over the past weeks have been lighting kites and balloons and flying them into Israeli territory aflame.
The tactic, according to Israeli sources, has started 450 fires and caused damages of USD 2 million.
In a statement, the Israeli military said, “the Hamas terror organization targeted Israeli civilians throughout the night with a severe rocket attack and is dragging the Gaza Strip and its civilians down a continually deteriorating path.”
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said “bombing is met with bombing.” Continuing, he said, “It’s the Israeli occupation that started the escalation. The resistance has warned against continuing to target civilians.” He insisted that Israel must be held responsible for the consequences of their actions.
Hamas, however, has not claimed responsibility for the rocket and mortar attacks on Israel.
Israel has conducted air strikes over the past weeks, targeting Hamas. Palestinians have held frequent demonstrations since March 30 to protest Israeli occupation and to demand the right to return to the lands they were expelled from in 1948.
Since the beginning of the protests, 127 Palestinians have been killed and over 13,000 injured.