The rockets intercepted over the southern Israeli city of Be'er Sheva Friday night were fired by Hamas operatives, defense officials said, in contrast to the hundreds of rockets fired over the week by Islamic Jihad.
Israel struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early on Saturday following the rocket fire from the Strip, after the group stayed out of this week's round of fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad. Security officials are of the opinion that the rockets launches were not ordered by Hamas leadership, but were rather the work of lone Hamas operatives.
– Haaretz Weekly 12/11
The Hamas-run TV channel Al-Aqsa reported that a site belonging to the group in Beit Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip, was attacked, as was a naval police compound in Gaza City. The Israeli army said that underground infrastructure was targeted as well. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The Israel Defense Forces, which had not struck Hamas targets over the course of the week's escalation, said of the strike: "Hamas is responsible for what is carried out in the Gaza Strip, and will bear the consequences."
The strikes came hours after two rockets were intercepted in in the area surrounding the major southern city of Be'er Sheva.
A cease-fire between Israel and the Islamic Jihad group went into effect on Thursday, ending two days of fighting ignited by Israel’s targeted killing of one of the Iran-backed militant group’s top Gaza commanders. The fighting killed 34 Palestinians, including 16 civilians, according to rights groups. Hamas stayed on the sidelines, and Israel did not attack targets linked to the group.
Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported Saturday morning that Islamic Jihad and Hamas military leaders met in the past two days to assess the situation and draw conclusions following the round of violence. The meeting remained practical, the report said, even as both sides exchanged criticism, and the two factions agreed to continue cooperating while sharing a war room.