Videos: IDF Bombs Targets Across Gaza Following Rocket Strike in Israeli Town of Sderot

© Sputnik ScreenshotIsraeli airstrikes in the central Gaza Strip on April 21, 2022
Israeli airstrikes in the central Gaza Strip on April 21, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.04.2022
Observers in the Gaza Strip reported explosions in central Gaza early on Thursday morning.
Some airstrikes were reportedly carried out by a Hermes 900 UCAV, while others were reportedly struck by Israeli Air Force F-15 Ra'am strike aircraft. The attacks targeted Deir al-Balah in central Gaza and Isa Batran in the west, latter of which was reportedly struck by nearly a dozen missiles.
The strikes reportedly targeted positions used by Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigade.
According to Quds News Network, Palestinian resistance groups returned fire with anti-aircraft weapons.
Israeli artillery fire was also reported in southern Gaza, targeting a Hamas checkpoint west of Al-Bureij refugee camp.
Following the airstrikes, two rocket launches toward Israel from northern Gaza were reported, but were believed by observers to have fallen short, as no activity was reported across the border in Israel.
Further IDF airstrikes were reported moments later against targets in Abu Jarad, Ubaidah, and Zeytoun, in central and northern Gaza.
Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem told Quds that the Israeli airstrikes in Gaza "will only increase the determination of our people to continue the struggle and resistance against the occupation, and the resistance will increase its support for our people in Jerusalem and protect our holy places at all costs and whatever the consequences."

Second Round of Rockets Shot Down

Even as IDF aircraft were still reported overhead, warning sirens sounded in several Israeli settlements near the northeastern end of the Gaza Strip, including Sderot, where a rocket struck on Wednesday afternoon.
Footage of the Iron Dome air defense system intercepting nearly a dozen rockets appeared on social media.
The IDF later published footage of one of the strikes, saying it had targeted "a military post and the opening of a terrorist tunnel which leads to a central underground structure with chemical raw materials used to manufacture rocket engines."
"The attack was carried out in response to a launch from the Gaza Strip towards the State of Israel earlier tonight (Wednesday)," the IDF said. "The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible for what is happening in the Gaza Strip."

Escalating Cycle of Violence

On Wednesday evening, a rocket fired from Gaza landed in the nearby Israeli settlement of Sderot, damaging a house but causing no injuries. The Iron Dome was reportedly not active at the time. According to Israeli media, four people were injured in the scramble for cover, however.
It was the second rocket launch of the week and the first since January 1, coming amid renewed violence in East Jerusalem. The IDF launched an airstrike in the western Gaza Strip early on Wednesday morning, saying it was targeting a weapons “workshop.”
Clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian Muslim worshippers in al-Aqsa mosque left more than 340 people injured on the previous Friday and another 20 were injured the following day. Late on Wednesday, new violence in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood was reported after Israeli police reportedly closed off the district.
Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli police blocked a “flag march” organized by right-wing extremist parties, including MK Itamar Ben Gvir and his Otzma Yehudit party. The group are followers of Rabbi Meir Kahane, who called for the expulsion of all non-Jews from Israel.
A fight between Palestinian families attempting to resist eviction and an Israeli settler company trying to enforce what they say is a legal claim over the land under their homes have repeatedly sparked violence over the past year, including helping to set off the 11-day war between Israel and militant groups in Gaza in May 2021. That war saw thousands of rockets fired at Israel and a heavy bombing campaign of crowded Gaza by the IDF, leaving 254 Gazans and 13 Israelis dead.
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