Jerusalem, Aug 21 (IANS) Israel launched airstrikes on Hamas sites in Gaza in retaliation after two rockets fired from the Palestinian enclave fell near an Israeli security fence, the military said on Friday.
An Israeli military spokesperson said in a statement that warplanes struck “a concrete manufacturing site used for underground infrastructure and tunnel construction” that belongs to the Islamic Hamas movement, reports Xinhua news agency.
There were no immediate reports of casualties on both sides.
Tensions have escalated as militant groups in the Gaza Strip sent balloons attached to incendiary and explosive materials into southern Israel.
Israel has carried out daily airstrikes and used artillery against Hamas sites for the past 11 days.
It has also closed the fishing zone around Gaza and its main cargo crossing.
Hamas, the Islamist Palestinian movement that runs the Gaza Strip, demands the ease of Israeli blockade imposed after the movement seized power in Gaza in 2007.
The recent exchange came amid efforts by Egyptian security officials to halt the flare-up.
Despite a truce achieved in 2019, Gaza militants and Israel clash sporadically, in which Palestinians launch rockets or balloons toward southern Israel and Israel launches missile strikes and imposes sanctions against Gaza residents.
According to Palestinian and Israeli commentators, the recent violence was triggered by Israel’s refusal to allow the transfer of Qatari money to the besieged enclave.