Ceasefire Violation Triggers IAF Strike in Gaza

YERUSHALAYIM (AP/Hamodia) -

Israeli aircraft struck targets in the Gaza Strip early Monday after six rockets were fired at southern Israel from the territory.

The IDF said its aircraft struck two weapons storage facilities and a rocket launch site. No injuries were reported on either side.

No terrorist group claimed responsibility for the rocket launches, but speaking on Army Radio, Israel’s chief military spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai blamed Islamic Jihad group.

Israel said it holds Hamas, which rules the coastal territory, ultimately accountable for the renewed fire.

“Last night’s rocket attack is
an intolerable act of aggression against Israel and its civilians. Hamas is held accountable for all acts of terrorism deriving from the Gaza Strip,” said another military spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a total of six rockets were fired at Israel overnight, causing no damage or injuries. The military said two rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. The other four landed in open areas.

While Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu restated his policy of retaliation for any violation of the ceasefire, former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman went considerably further.

Lieberman, currently chairman of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee,  told Israel Radio on Monday that Israel should seriously consider the reoccupation of the Gaza Strip.

He argued that if the status quo continues, Hamas will build up a force of aircraft and missiles that would threaten Tel Aviv and Netanya.

“Hamas has no intention of reconciling with a Jewish presence in Israel,” Lieberman said. “So we need to return to the Gaza Strip and conduct a thorough cleaning.”

When asked if his position was supported by the prime minister and defense minister, Lieberman said he did not know.