Israel’s military said it launched at least one counterattack on the blockaded Palestinian enclave
Multiple rockets have been launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip, according to the Israel Defense Forces, which shared footage of the attack in progress a mere hours after US President Joe Biden departed the country.
The IDF commented on the rocket fire in the early hours of Saturday, saying one projectile was intercepted by Israel’s air defenses, while another landed in an open area and caused no injuries or damage
“This is the moment innocent Israelis had to run for immediate shelter when terrorists in Gaza fired 2 rockets toward them,” the military said while posting a video of the incoming rockets.
RAW FOOTAGE: This is the moment innocent Israelis had to run for immediate shelter when terrorists in Gaza fired 2 rockets toward them.
The IDF Aerial Defense Array intercepted 1 of the rockets, saving the lives of civilians below. pic.twitter.com/1XANHbEpAo
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) July 15, 2022
No group immediately took responsibility for the attack, though the IDF pinned the rocket fire on Hamas, the political party and militant group which governs Gaza.
The military later said it targeted a Hamas “military site with an underground production workshop for rocket materials” in retaliation, calling it “one of the most important and largest sites” of its kind in the region.
“The attack on the site will significantly complicate the rocket production process in the Gaza Strip, with the aim of undermining the intensifying capabilities of the Hamas terrorist organization,” it added.
Palestinian reporter Muhammad Smiry shared footage of the Israeli counterattack, while Gaza-based activist and journalist Maha Hussaini said “I haven’t heard air strikes this loud since Israel’s attack on Gaza in May 2021,” referring to the last major flare-up between Israel and the Palestinian fighters.
— Muhammad Smiry (@MuhammadSmiry) July 16, 2022
Biden traveled to Israel this week for his first presidential visit to the Middle East, leaving the country just hours before the rockets began to fly. During the trip, he met with high-level Israeli and Palestinian officials, focusing much of the talks on security issues.
Hamas was highly critical of the visit – which did not make a stop in Gaza, a hemmed in enclave under heavy blockade by the Israeli government – calling the United States “a partner in the aggression on our people” while condemning Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for meeting with Biden.