Israeli planes carried out attacks in the Gaza Strip today, hours after the launch of three rounds of mortar shells from the Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave.
Israeli bombing struck two sites belonging to the Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades, Hamas's military wing in northern Gaza, with another round of attacks at another al-Qassam site in western Gaza, Hamas officials said.
Already the Israeli army said that planes and helicopters hit "several Hamas terrorist targets in Gaza" as well as a "military post of the Hamas naval force in the northern Gaza Strip."
"The Israeli Defense Forces hold the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for the events taking place in the Gaza Strip, and Hamas will bear the brunt of the attacks on Israeli civilians," it added in a statement.
Late Saturday night, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired three mortar shells at southern Israel. All three were intercepted by Israel's “Iron Dome” missile defense system, the Israeli army said.
The last shot from the Palestinian enclave controlled by the Hamas Islamic movement dates back to 29 November.
On November 12, the Israeli army killed a senior commander of Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian armed movement in the enclave under Israeli blockade.
In retaliation, Islamic Jihad fired some 450 mortar shells in two days at Israel.
Thirty-six Palestinians died as a result of attacks by Israel.
A precarious ceasefire took effect on November 14.
Since 2008, Israel has fought three wars against Hamas and its allied armed groups in Gaza.