(Photo credit: WAFA)
Israeli jets launched a new airstrike campaign on the besieged Gaza Strip in the early hours of 2 February, prompting a response from the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
There were no reports of casualties from either side. The bombing campaign was reportedly launched in retaliation to a single rocket fired from Gaza towards the adjacent settlement of Sderot, which was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.
#Palestine / #Israel 🇵🇸🇮🇱: A rocket fired from #Gaza towards #Sderot was intercepted by Iron Dome ADS.
The rocket seems to be a 107mm Fadjr-1 HE rocket —produced by #Iran 🇮🇷 in 2008. pic.twitter.com/n5WE4fGSZo
— War Noir (@war_noir) February 1, 2023
The Israeli army claims the first round of airstrikes targeted an Al-Qassam Brigades training center in the Al-Maghazi refugee camp in central Gaza.
“Our Al-Qassam Brigades heroically confront the occupation’s aggression and its bombing of the Strip,” reads a statement released by the group. It adds that the rocket fire came in response to deadly raids in the occupied West Bank and the mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners – particularly female prisoners – in Israeli jails.
The rockets fired by the resistance were Iranian-made 107mm Fajr-1 rockets, for which the Lions’ Den in Gaza took responsibility. A photo of the initial rocket fired was released on social media – and bore a written message, which reads: “Lion’s Den, Gaza, a response for our imprisoned sisters, 1/2/2023, 5:26 pm.”
Tonight's rocket attack in the occupied Palestine was carried out by our brothers in "The Lions' den"…
They used 107mm Iranian Fajr rockets.#ایولا! (😂Iranians know what I'm saying!) pic.twitter.com/gFCK4bmgWF
— 𝐄𝐡𝐬𝐚𝐧 𝐒𝐚𝐟𝐚𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐣𝐚𝐝 | احسان 🇮🇷 (@Safarnejad_IR) February 1, 2023
Thursday’s attack on Gaza comes less than a week after another Israeli airstrike campaign in which jets fired 15 missiles on a site in Al-Maghazi, destroying infrastructure and causing a power outage.
Since the start of 2023, a total of 35 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis, making January the deadliest month for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since 2015.
Israel has been carrying out near-daily raids in the West Bank for the past year.
Just last week, 10 Palestinians were massacred in the city of Jenin by Israeli troops. A day later, 10 Israeli settlers were killed during a shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem.
In a tweet sent after Wednesday’s rocket launch from Gaza, Jewish supremacist National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who oversees prisons, said he would push ahead with plans to toughen conditions for Palestinian prisoners.
“The rocket fire from Gaza will not stop me from continuing efforts to cancel summer camp conditions for murderous terrorists,” the extremist official said.
הירי מעזה לא ירפה את ידי מלהמשיך לפעול לביטול תנאי הקייטנה של מחבלים רוצחים. נותן גיבוי לשב"ס להיכנס לתוך האגפים ולהשליט סדר. ביקשתי לכנס ישיבת קבינט דחופה עוד הערב, לבחון את דרכי התגובה על שיגור הטילים מעזה.
— איתמר בן גביר (@itamarbengvir) February 1, 2023
Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinian prisoners has been routinely criticized by human rights groups, as Tel Aviv holds hundreds of detainees without charge under so-called “administrative detention.”