The Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement in the Gaza Strip announced, on Thursday, that it had fired barrages of rockets into Israel in response to the assassinations of its leaders, Anadolu news agency reported.
“The joint operations room of the Palestinian resistance factions, the Al-Quds Brigades and the Al-Nasser Salah al-Din Brigades, have bombed the [Israeli] cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon…. in response to the assassinations and the [Israeli] aggression” the Al-Quds Brigades, the movement’s armed wing, said in a brief statement.
Anadolu’s correspondent reported that bursts of rockets were launched on Thursday evening from different areas of the Gaza Strip towards Israeli cities and towns.
In parallel with the rocket fire, Israeli warplanes flew over the Gaza Strip.
In another statement, the Islamic Jihad said “Our people should raise their heads high with this blessed and sacred response.”
At least 31 Palestinians were killed and over 90 others injured in a series of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, according to the Health Ministry. Five leaders of Islamic Jihad group, their wives and children were among those killed in the attacks.
An Israeli military statement said that 270 rockets were fired from Gaza, of which 205 crossed into Israeli territories.
According to the statement, 62 rockets were intercepted by its air defence systems while three fell into populated areas.
One of the interceptions was made by Israel’s medium-range air defence system known as David Sling over Tel Aviv, marking the first use of the platform against Palestinian rockets from Gaza. `
The Israeli army said 53 targets were struck in Gaza since the start of its offensive early on Tuesday. The Israeli army said its airstrikes on Gaza were part of its Operation Shield and Arrow in response to rocket fire from Gaza following the death of a Palestinian hunger striker in an Israeli prison last week.
According to Palestinian figures, at least 130 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of this year. Nineteen Israelis have also been killed in separate attacks during the same period.