Israel targets Gaza militant after Palestinian rocket attacks
GAZA: Israel said it carried out an air strike on Sunday against a Gaza militant who it blamed for cross-border rocket attacks last week, and Palestinian medics said two people, including a 12-year-old, were wounded.
The so-called "targeted attack" against a man the Israeli military identified as Ahmad Sa'ad, a senior Islamic Jihad operative, was a sign of growing Israeli impatience over a recent upsurge in rocket fire out of the Gaza Strip.
The military said Sa'ad was personally responsible for the launching of five rockets at the Israeli southern city of Ashkelon on Thursday that were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.
Palestinian medics said Israeli aircraft attacked a motorbike in the northern Gaza Strip, and that a 24-year-old man and a 12-year-old boy were wounded. They did not identify the two, but the Israeli military said Sa'ad was hit in the strike.
An Israeli military official said on Thursday that Gaza's ruling Hamas Islamist movement should intervene to stop rocket attacks, which he blamed on smaller militant groups backed by Iran.
After months of unusual quiet along the fence that separates southern Israel from the Gaza Strip, some 20 missile launches have been detected in the last month, the Israeli military said.
In a statement on Sunday's air strike, the military said it "targeted an integral component of the Gaza terrorist mechanism" and would not tolerate "aggression from the Hamas territory".
The military said Sa'ad was planning further rocket strikes soon against Israel.
Earlier on Sunday, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck southern Israel, causing no casualties. Israel responded with air strikes on two sites in the territory.
Hamas said two of its training camps were hit in the attacks, but no one was hurt.