İrem UZUN -TDO- (18.02.2020)- The Israeli air force attacked Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Saturday in retaliation to rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave into Israel, a military statement said. The army did not immediately say whether the rockets were intercepted, and there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. Israeli fighter jets and helicopters targeted a Hamas military compound, a strike that "represents a blow to Hamas's capacity to galvanize itself," the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.
Following the rocket fire, the Israeli army announced that it had cancelled the revocation of some 500 permits allowing businessmen out of Gaza, an increase on the fishing zone, and an agreement to allow cement to be imported into the Strip. "The extension of the fishing zone, the restoration of 500 commercial permits and the delivery of cement have been canceled because of the rocket fire,” the Israel defense ministry unit that oversees civilian activities in the Palestinian territories, said in a statement. Israel justifies the blockade by the need to contain Hamas, which has controlled the enclave since 2007.
This week, Israel publicly threatened a harsh military response if attacks from the Gaza Strip continued. “I want to make this clear: We won’t accept any aggression from Gaza. Just a few weeks ago, we took out the top commander of Islamic Jihad in Gaza, and I suggest that Islamic Jihad and Hamas refresh their memories,” Netanyahu said, at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem on Sunday. “I won’t lay out in detail all our actions and plans in the media, but we’re prepared for crushing action against the terror groups in Gaza. Our actions are powerful, and they’re not finished yet, to put it mildly,” he added.