Israeli Airstrikes Target Central Gaza, Wounding Four

Israel Insists Strikes Were Retaliation for Cross-Border Rocket Fire

by Jason Ditz, February 27, 2017

Israeli warplanes today launched airstrikes against five targets in the Gaza Strip, with the strikes centering on the Nuseirat refugee camp. Israeli officials described the targets as “Hamas infrastructure.” Four Palestinians were wounded, none of them identified.

Israeli officials said the attacks were retaliation for a single rocket fired from Gaza, which crossed the Israel border. No damage was reported and no one was hurt in the incident, which appears to have been carried out by some smaller militant faction in Gaza.

As always, Hamas was the target afterwards, were Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman saying Hamas should “take responsibility” and prevent such launches if they want to avoid Israeli retaliation. Israeli military officials insisted that the single rocket proved “Hamas’ terrorist activity is ceaseless.”

While there appears to be little appetite for another Gaza war, it is somewhat unusual for it to have been over two years since the last time Israel invaded the strip in earnest, which is making a lot of people nervous. Such airstrikes often mark the beginning of a protracted escalation that leads to such an invasion.

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