The Israeli military says it struck terrorist targets in Gaza, including a weapons manufacturing site, after six rockets were fired from the territory early Friday.
There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage on either side. But the UN’s Mideast envoy warned that the situation was “rapidly deteriorating” and that life inside the blockaded Palestinian territory had become “unbearable.”
Israel and Hamas, the Islamic terror group that rules Gaza, have traded fire on a number of occasions in recent weeks, and Hamas-linked groups have launched a wave of incendiary balloons across the frontier that have torched wide swathes of farmland.
“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 in a statement.
In response, our Air Force just struck Hamas military targets in Gaza, including a weapons manufacturing site.
Hamas will bear the consequences for terror activity against Israeli civilians.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) August 28, 2020
Hamas is pressing Israel to ease its blockade on Gaza and allow large-scale development projects. Egypt and Qatar are trying to shore up an informal ceasefire.
Those efforts have grown more urgent in recent days as authorities in Gaza have detected the first cases of local transmission of the coronavirus. Hamas has imposed a lockdown in the coastal territory bordering Israel and Egypt, which is home to 2 million Palestinians.
Bassem Naim, a Hamas official, warned of further escalation, saying the “catastrophic conditions the Gaza Strip is experiencing are unprecedented.” He said the situation could lead to an “explosion in which things get out of control.”