Israel strikes hit more than 30 Gaza targets

AFP . Jerusalem | Update:

Israeli military launch a missile from the Iron Dome air defence system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, from a position in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on 29 May  2018. Photo : AFPIsrael's military struck more than 30 "military targets" in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in response to a barrage of rocket and mortar fire from the Palestinian enclave, the army said.

Army spokesman Jonathan Conricus told journalists the rocket and mortar fire at Israel was the most extensive since a 2014 war as was Israel's response.

"We just concluded a significant aerial strike where we struck more than 30 different military targets belonging to terrorist organisations," Conricus said.

"Amongst those a tunnel and different components of military infrastructure belonging to Hamas and to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad."

Early Tuesday, a barrage of mortar shells from the Gaza Strip were fired at Israel. Most of the some 28 mortar shells were intercepted by Israeli air defences and no injuries were reported.

Later in the day, Israel said it intercepted further projectiles fired from the Gaza Strip.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but there was speculation the mortars were fired by Islamic Jihad in revenge for a recent incident that left three of its members dead.

Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, said in a statement "what the resistance carried out this morning comes within the framework of the natural right to defend our people".

Tuesday's incidents came after weeks of deadly demonstrations and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border, beginning on March 30.

They peaked on May 14, when at least 61 Palestinians were killed as tens of thousands of Gazans protested and clashes erupted on the same day of the US transfer of its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

No Israelis have been killed.

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