Palestinians fired three rockets at southern Israel from the Gaza Strip early Monday morning, the army said, as Palestinian media reported that Israeli aircraft hit a number of targets in the coastal enclave.
The army said two of the rockets landed inside Israel, while the third appeared to have fallen short of the border.
An explosion is seen in Gaza City after an airstrike by Israel on June 18, 2018. (AFP / MAHMUD HAMS)
Palestinian media reported that the Israeli military conducted a number of airstrikes on Hamas targets in northern Gaza.
The Israel Defense Forces would not immediately confirm the reports, but pictures from the enclave showed large fireballs and smoke, apparently from missile strikes.
The Palestinian rocket fire appeared to come in response to the airstrikes.
The rockets shot at Israel triggered sirens in the Hof Ashkelon region and the city of Ashkelon’s industrial area. The alarms were triggered in two waves, first at 4:40 a.m. and then again shortly after 5 a.m.
The Iron Dome missile defense system did not appear to have been activated, indicating the incoming rockets struck open fields where there was no risk to life and thus no need to intercept them.
The rocket attack followed a day of airborne arson attacks by Palestinians in Gaza, who launched dozens of balloons laden with incendiary devices and explosives at southern Israel, sparking at least 20 fires, some of them large.
In response, the Israeli military carried out three rounds of airstrikes against targets in the Strip.
In the predawn hours of Sunday, the air force bombed a car that the army said belonged to one of the leaders of the Gazan kite and balloon attacks, striking the vehicle while it was empty as a warning.
On Sunday afternoon, an Israeli aircraft targeted a group of Palestinians who had sent incendiary balloons into southern Israel from the southern Gaza Strip, near the city of Khan Younis.
Finally, that evening, the army fired a warning shot near the Palestinians who were launching the balloons toward Israel. Approximately half an hour later, it conducted a second round of strikes, hitting the tent in which the group was operating and a car that had been used to bring people to the area, the army said.