Israeli Air Force Strikes Gaza Following Hamas Mortar Attack

Israeli Air Force Strikes Gaza Following Hamas Mortar Attack
Palestinians carry the body of Abdullah Maqawai during his funeral in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Monday after he died of his wounds sustained in an Israeli air strike. Photographer: Said Khatib/AFP/Getty Images

Israel’s air force hit the Gaza Strip for a second time in 24 hours after a barrage of mortar shells and rockets struck the south of the country, the army said.

Five people were wounded in the air strike, Asharf al-Qedra, spokesman for the Hamas-run Ministry of Health, told reporters today. Earlier, as many as many as 30 mortar shells and rockets hit southern Israel, causing no injuries, the army said. Hamas and Islamic Jihad jointly claimed responsibility for the attack.

Violence escalated two days after Israeli forces shot down a drone as it entered the country’s airspace from the Mediterranean Sea. One Palestinian belonging to the Islamic Jihad militant group died today after an Israeli missile yesterday struck a motorcycle in the southern Gaza town of Rafah. Another militant who is a member of the Islamic Jihad was critically wounded and eight other people were injured.

The last outbreak of violence began almost three weeks ago when two Palestinian militants belonging to Islamic Jihad were killed and one was critically wounded in an Israeli air strike in Gaza.

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