The Israeli Air Force on Friday carried out raids on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for mortar fire directed at Israeli soldiers earlier in the day, on the fourth day of tit-for-tat exchanges of fire between Hamas and Israel around the coastal enclave.
There were no immediate reports of injuries in the fourth series of airstrikes since Wednesday.
Mortars were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli soldiers on Friday morning, causing no injuries in what the army said was the 12th incident in three days. The soldiers were operating near the southern edge of the coastal enclave, according to the Israel Defense Forces. The Israeli jets subsequently targeted a Hamas site in southern Gaza, according to the army.
“The repeated attacks against the IDF activities to locate and destroy cross-border tunnels will not be tolerated. Hamas’s diabolical plan to infiltrate into Israeli communities must be stopped. The IDF has the obligation and a duty to safeguard the people in southern Israel and the sovereignty of our borders, we will continue to do so,” said IDF spokesman Peter Lerner in a statement.
Palestinian media reports on Friday afternoon said Israel and Hamas reached a truce agreement, brokered by Egypt, which would go into effect immediately. But the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, Major General Yoav (Poly) Mordechai, stressed that despite reports, no such agreement had been reached.
“The army intends to maintain its activities against Hamas as it continues to breach Israeli sovereignty and build tunnels,” he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday morning was set to convene the high-level security cabinet to discuss the escalation in violence, according to Israel Radio.
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