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Israeli aircraft strikes Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire

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A Palestinian child plays in the damaged apartment after an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya, on Feb. 2, 2018. Israeli Air Force attacked a Hamas observation post in the southern Gaza Strip early Friday morning in response to a rocket attack several hours earlier, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said. (Xinhua/Wissam Nassar)


 
An Israeli aircraft targeted at a Hamas observation post in the northern Gaza Strip on early Friday morning in retaliation to earlier rocket fire at southern Israel, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) told Xinhua.

The IDF held Hamas accountable for all violence emanating from the Gaza Strip in the statement made by the IDF on early Friday morning.

On Thursday night, a rocket was fired at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip and there were no immediate reports of injuries or damage in the strike, said the IDF in an earlier statement.

This attack and the IDF response happened after nearly one relatively "quiet" month. The last attack from the Gaza Strip took place at the beginning of January when three mortars were fired from Gaza at southern Israel, causing no injuries or damage. And Israel's military carried out an airstrike on a main militant site in the Gaza Strip.

The IDF made a statement on Friday evening that a violent riot was instigated in the village of Abu Dis East of Jerusalem when an Israeli civilian entered the area earlier Friday. Approximately 200 Palestinians hurled rocks, burned the civilians' vehicle and blocked his exit from the village. The IDF and border police troops entered the village in order to extract the civilian who was lightly injured. The incident will be looked into, said the IDF.

The IDF also said on Thursday in a statement that the IDF troops apprehended four suspects who infiltrated into Israel from the southern Gaza Strip. Two knives and a grenade were found in the possession of one of them. The suspects were apprehended and transferred to security forces for further questioning.

A total of 35 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel in the year of 2017, compared with 15 in 2016 and 21 in 2015, according to the statistics from the IDF issued on Jan. 7. In retaliation to the rocket attacks, the IDF struck 59 targets in the Gaza Strip in 2017, including rocket launches and training camps, weapons production sites, observation posts and more, said the IDF.

Israel media reported that Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired at least 20 rockets or mortar rounds at Israel since US President Donald Trump's controversial December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as the country's capital, at least six of which have been intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system. Usually, the IDF takes airstrike on Hamas military facilities in the Gaza Strip if Hamas fires rocket into Israel.

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