(Al Jazeera Media Network) The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) have announced a strike on Gaza on Thursday evening, shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a video statement vowing that his country’s enemies would “pay a price for any aggression.”
The Israeli military operation has led to reports of explosions across Gaza, as warplanes fly overhead. No casualties or injuries have been reported so far, but at least five sites have been targetted in the missile strike.
They include agricultural land in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip, two sites south of Gaza City, farmland east of the Al-Zaitoun neighbourhood near Gaza City, and a site east of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
The news source AFP said a Palestinian security source has indicated that Hamas training sites were struck in the attack.
On Twitter, the Israel Defence Forces said that air raid sirens were sounding in southern Israel.
The attack on Gaza, a blockaded Palestinian enclave on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, comes after the Israeli military said rockets were fired from the strip into southern Israel for a second straight day.
The rocket fire comes amid ongoing tensions over the storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem, where Israeli troops expelled Muslim worshippers from the holy site as they gathered for Ramadan prayers.
Early on Wednesday, Israeli authorities said they fielded four missiles from Gaza in response to the two raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque. In response, Israeli planes launched attacks on Gaza, striking a target in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the centre of the strip as well as two sites west of Gaza City.
The Israeli military said it had received more rocket fire from Gaza on Thursday morning. No casualties were reported.
Also on Thursday, Israel claimed it had received rocket fire from Lebanon for the first time since last April. Five landed in Israeli territory, according to a Defence Forces tweet, while 25 others were intercepted. Four additional launches, it added, were “under review.”
Lebanon’s National News Agency said Israel responded by firing a burst of artillery back across the border. No casualties were reported there, either, though Israel’s emergency services noted one man was hit with shrapnel, and a woman was injured while seeking shelter.
Netanyahu issued a statement on Twitter announcing Israel would “cripple its enemies” in the wake of the rocket fire. He added that those “enemies” would discover that, when tested, Israelis would “stand united and support the actions of the IDF and other security forces to protect our country and its citizens.”