After Jenin, Israel sets its sights on Gaza with airstrikes on Al-Qassam Brigades
Not long after its military pulled out from Jenin on Wednesday, Israeli warplanes launched a series of airstrikes on sites belonging to Hamas, the Islamic movement in control of the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian sources and eyewitnesses said that the Israeli aircraft attacked the site of the eastern Beit Lahia Battalion in the northern Gaza Strip, which is affiliated with the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.
The sources indicated that Israeli warplanes also attacked a site in the coastal neighbourhood of Sheikh Ajlin in Gaza City, and another site in the central region, without causing any injuries in both areas.
The bombing came hours after rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards the city of Sderot, launched in response to Israel's military attack on Jenin in the occupied West Bank.
The Hebrew public radio said that a house in Sderot was damaged by shrapnel from a missile.
Up to now, no Palestinian party claimed responsibility for firing the shells, and there were no injuries.
Abdul al-Rahman Abu Oda, a young man from Beit Hanoun, praised the rockets that were launched into Israel, sharing much of the general sentiment in Gaza.
"It seems that the armed resistence in Gaza decided to send its own message to Israel that our brothers in Jenin are not alone in their battle with the enemy and Gaza can join to it if Israel insists on continuing its violations in Jenin," he told The New Arab.
"Such small rockets means that the resistance in Gaza adopts a plan on how to talk to Israel via force. The rockets were small and targeted a specific city in Israel to say that 'we have the power and can use it at the correct time'," he added.
The Israeli army claimed that its "military operation" in Jenin was aimed to limit the influence of Palestinian militants in the city of Jenin and its camp, while local residents described it as the most violent in 20 years.
As a result of the attack, 13 Palestinians were killed, including children, and more than 140 others were wounded, 30 of which are in critical condition, according to Palestinian statistics.
One Israeli soldier was killed, claimed the Israeli army.
During the bloody attack on Jenin, Israel had warned the armed Palestinian resistance in Gaza from launching any rockets from the coastal enclave into the Israeli cities adjacent to the territory, according to Palestinian security sources.
Speaking under the condition of anonymity to The New Arab at the time, a senior official close to Hamas said, "Israel sent a clear message to the resistance factions in Gaza through Egypt that it will not hesitate to respond to any attempts of launching rockets from Gaza."
"Israel claimed that its military operation in Jenin is specific and limited and the armed factions in Gaza should not interfere. They should stay out of the game because the target is not Gaza, and if the rockets are fired, they will respond harshly," the source added.