The Israeli military said it had targeted a “Hamas terror infrastructure site.” Blasts were reported in the Khan Yunis area of Gaza, where Hamas reportedly trains militant loyalists.
Israel “will not permit any attempt to undermine the security and jeopardize the well-being of the civilians of Israel,” Israel Defense Forces spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner told reporters after the airstrike.
It was the first Israeli airstrike on Gaza since the IDF and Hamas fighters battled for 50 days this summer, killing more than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, plus 66 Israeli soldiers and six civilians.
There were no immediate reports of casualties from either the rocket fired from Gaza or the government airstrike in retaliation.
Israel’s battle against Hamas suffered two setbacks this week when the General Court of the European Union ordered Hamas removed from the 28-nation alliance’s list of terrorist organizations, citing technical errors in the designation process.
The Palestinian Authority, emboldened by recent expressions of support for its future statehood by several European countries, submitted a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council via its ally Jordan on Wednesday. The proposal, opposed by Israel, calls for a Palestinian state and would force Israel to withdraw from the West Bank within two years.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the moves “staggering examples of European hypocrisy” in its policy in the stagnant quest for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.