JERUSALEM (JTA) — Code Red rocket alert sirens sounded in southern Israeli communities after three rockets were fired from Gaza.
The sirens early Sunday morning sounded throughout the city of Ashkelon as well as smaller border towns and kibbutzim. Two of the rockets landed on Israeli territory and one landed in Gaza. It is the first rockets to be fired at Israel from Gaza in nearly two weeks.
In response, the Israel Defense Forces said it struck nine Hamas targets in two military compounds and in a munition manufacturing site in the northern Gaza Strip.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Office said that the strikes on Hamas targets also was in response to the arson attacks from explosive kites and balloons that have been flown into Israel causing damage to thousands of acres of agricultural fields and woodlands.
“These are terrorist acts that endanger Israeli residents living in southern Israel and damage extensive areas in Israeli territory,” the IDF said in a statement.
“The IDF has fired warning shots near groups who were responsible for the arson and destruction in Israel, and has carried out attacks against infrastructure used by these groups,” the statement also said. “The IDF’s intelligence and operational capabilities will allow it to increase these strikes as necessary. The IDF is determined to continue to act with increasing intensity against these acts of terror as long as required, using the variety of tools at its disposal.”