Israel launches strikes on Gaza after rockets fired
Israel launched air strikes on the Gaza strip on Sunday in response to projectiles fired from the Palestinian enclave, the army said, as tensions continue to mount in the wake of Washington's controversial peace plan proposal for Israel and Palestine.
The army said that its fighter jets and attack helicopters targeted a number of Hamas targets, including underground infrastructure used as a situation room in the north of the Gaza Strip.
The action was taken "due to the continued rocket fire and launchings of incendiary balloons from the Gaza Strip into Israel," said a statement by Major General Kamil Abu Rukun, head of the Israeli military unit responsible for coordination in the Palestinian territories.
No civilian casualties have been reported.
Israel has also suspended cement deliveries to Gaza while 500 commercial entry permits into Israel have been cancelled “until further notice”.
Projectiles have been fired almost daily from Gaza into southern Israel since US President Donald Trump announced the plan on Tuesday. Israel, in turn, has launched air strikes on the Strip.
Trump's plan proposes granting large swathes of the occupied West Bank to Israel, including illegal settlements and outposts. Israel would also retain control of the contested city of Jerusalem as its “undivided capital”.
Negotiated between Israel and the US, the plan had no input from the Palestinians and has been rejected by them.
Local media reported that presidential contender Benny Gantz was forced to take up refuge in a shelter amid rocket fire while campaigning in southern Israel.
Gantz, a former commander in chief of the Israeli army, heads the Blue and White party and is the chief rival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the 2 March election.
At least 12 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces on Friday, as people in Gaza turned out to protest the plan, burning tyres near the security fence with Israel.