An Israeli tank has shelled a post of the Islamist Hamas movement in Gaza after Palestinians attempted to fire a rocket into Israel, its army said. The rocket, initially believed to have hit southern Israel late Sunday, fell inside the Gaza Strip but had been intended for the Jewish state, it said in a statement. “As the rocket fire endangered Israeli citizens and violated Israeli sovereignty, a tank targeted and destroyed a Hamas observation point in the southern Gaza Strip,” the English-language statement said.
There was no word on Monday morning of any casualties. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008. A fragile ceasefire has been observed along the largely closed border since the most recent conflict in 2014. Missiles and rockets are periodically fired into Israel, generally by hardline Salafist Islamist groups opposed to Hamas. But Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rocket fire from Gaza, regardless of who carried it out, and usually retaliates within hours.
On Saturday, Hamas police arrested a suspected jihadist leader in Gaza, Nour Issa, 27. In August, a suicide bomber allegedly linked to the Islamic State group killed a Hamas guard in southern Gaza along the border with Egypt, in a rare attack against the Islamists.