December 20, 2014
Israel bombs the Gaza Strip after rocket attacks
Israeli aircraft attacked at least six militant targets in the Gaza Strip today, hours after rockets fired from the Palestinian territory set a factory in Israel on fire, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.
Palestinian medics said two people were wounded in air strikes on eight sites. Israeli officials said only six sites were bombed.
Three people were injured in the attack on the Israeli factory, a paint manufacturing plant in the southern town of Sderot that caught fire, police said.
"Over the weekend, the Israel Defense Forces attacked multiple targets in response to firing at Israel from the Gaza Strip," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in public remarks to his cabinet.
"We are ready to expand this operation, if necessary," he said.
Palestinian officials said targets hit in the Israeli air strikes belonged to Hamas's armed wing - the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades - Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees.
Hamas, an Islamist movement that seized the Gaza Strip from forces loyal to Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007, signed a reconciliation deal with him in April under which a unity government was formed on June 2.
Since the beginning of June, militants in the Gaza Strip have fired 60 rockets at Israel in attacks that have caused few injuries, the Israeli military said.
In Gaza, Israeli air strikes have totalled more than 80 this month and killed two militants and wounded about a dozen other people, Palestinian officials said.