Illustrative: Rising smoke in Gaza after it was hit by Israeli airstrikes, November 15, 2012. (Scott Bobb/Voice of America)
The Media Line Staff
At least 40 rockets were launched from Gaza into southern Israel over the weekend. The rocket attacks began late Friday night, stretching into Saturday morning; several more rockets were fired on Saturday night.
Some of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system and the rest landed in empty fields. Some damage was reported. Several other rockets landed in Gazan territory.
The Israel Defense Forces responded to the rocket attacks with air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza, including rocket launchers and what the military described as “underground infrastructure.”
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the military arm of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah party, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine’s Abu Ali Mustapha Brigades claimed responsibility for the attacks. They said the attacks were in response to the current clashes between Arabs and Palestinians in Jerusalem with Jewish extremists and police.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday held a meeting with defense officials to assess the situation in the wake of the attacks. He said following the meeting that the IDF should “prepare for any scenario” with Gaza. Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a statement that the military “will do what is necessary so the calm is preserved/”
Meanwhile, the IDF announced that IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi would postpone a scheduled trip to the United States due to the current situation of unrest.