Israeli jets struck two Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Tuesday, injuring at least three people, hours after a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave hit an open area in southern Israel.
The Israeli military said in a statement that in response to the projectile attack in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council earlier Tuesday, “IAF aircraft targeted two Hamas posts in the northern Gaza Strip.”
A Gaza security source told AFP that Israeli warplanes had struck two bases belonging to Hamas’ military wing, causing significant damage.
Hamas, the terror group that rules Gaza, has largely refrained from firing rockets into Israel since it fought a devastating war with Israel in 2014. Launches have often been ascribed to radical Salafist groups.
North Korea and the United States traded escalating threats, US with President Donald Trump warning it would be met “with fire and fury like the world has never seen” and Pyongyang claiming Wednesday it was examining its plans for attacking Guam.
The comments follow reports that North Korea has mastered a crucial technology needed to strike the United States with a nuclear missile.
Despite regular North Korean threats against Guam, a US territory in the Pacific about 2,100 miles (3,400 kilometers) from the Korean Peninsula, it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang would risk the assured annihilation of its revered leadership with a pre-emptive attack on US citizens.
Still, the competing threats and Trump’s use of North Korea-style rhetoric — Pyongyang has long vowed to reduce Seoul to a “sea of fire” — raise the already high animosity and heightens worries that a miscalculation might spark conflict between the nuclear-armed nations.
The North Korean army said in a statement distributed by the state-run news agency that it is studying a plan to create an “enveloping fire” in areas around Guam with medium- to long-range ballistic missiles. The statement described Andersen Air Force Base on Guam as a “beachhead” for a potential US invasion of North Korea it needed to neutralize. It was unlikely the North’s threat was a direct response to Trump’s comments to the camera at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey.
The nuclear advances were detailed in an official Japanese assessment Tuesday and a later Washington Post story that cited US intelligence officials and a confidential Defense Intelligence Agency report. The US now assesses the North Korean arsenal at up to 60 nuclear weapons, more than double most assessments by independent experts, according to the Post’s reporting.
The remarks appeared scripted, with Trump glancing at a paper in front of him. They evoked President Harry Truman’s announcement of the US atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in 1945, in which he warned of “a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.”
But it wasn’t clear what Trump, who is prone to hyperbole and bombast in far less grave situations, meant by the threat. White House officials did not elaborate.