Israel conducts air raids after Gaza rocket attack

Aug 22, 2016, 4:46 AM EDT
An Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip
(Source: Amir Farshad Ebrahimi/flickr)

Israel carried out multiple air strikes at 30 different sites in the Gaza Strip after a rocket launched by the Palestinian militants landed in the Israeli border town of Sderot on Sunday. Although no one was injured in the rocket strike, a music festival with hundreds of attendees in Sderot was temporarily disrupted. The Israeli military claimed that 14 Gaza rockets have hit Israel in the year so far.

Israeli army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said that the air strikes, which targeted the northern Gaza Strip, aimed at maintaining peace and stability in the region that surrounds southern Israel, reports Reuters. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, accused Israel of escalating tensions in the region.

The Gaza conflict in 2014 claimed lives of more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians. Despite a ceasefire agreement between the Hamas and Israel in 2014, small armed cells of Jihadist Salafis occasionally strike Israeli towns with rocket attacks.

Israel, which permanently withdrew its troops from the Gaza Strip in 2005, continues to control its airspace, seafront and transit points, blocking trade and free movement for the territory’s about two million population, writes Al Jazeera