Israeli forces hit Hamas in retaliation for rocket attack

Jan. 31 (UPI) — Israel Defense Forces launched a counterattack late Thursday along the Gaza Strip, hours after officials said Hamas fired rockets into Israel.

Israeli officials said the attack hit spots in the southern Gaza Strip belonging to Hamas, including an underground weapons facility. The assault was retaliation for three rockets fired by Hamas fighters from the Gaza Strip. Two were destroyed by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system and the third landed in an open field, authorities said.

“The terror organization Hamas is responsible for what happens in the Gaza Strip and outside of it and will have consequences for its actions against the citizens of Israel,” the IDF said in a statement.

The strikes followed escalating skirmishes in the region Thursday. The IDF said it earlier had attacked several Hamas observation posts near the Gaza-Israel perimeter barrier in retaliation for recent acts of aggression from Hamas-controlled side of the border. Those attacks included flying incendiary balloons into Israeli-controlled territories and attacking an IDF post, Israeli officials said.

The fighting came one day after U.S. President Donald Trump introduced his Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, which proposes a two-state resolution and allows Israel to move ahead with plans to annex the Jordan Valley and West Bank settlements.

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