The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) struck inside the Gaza strip on Saturday after four rockets were fired into the south of the country just a day after US President Joe Biden visited Israel. Biden had also met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas before he flew out to Saudi Arabia.
According to the IDF, the air strikes targeted an underground facility in Nusierat Martyrs site that manufactures rockets.
"The site targeted was one of the largest and most important sites in the Strip for the production of base materials for rockets by terror groups," the IDF said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Rocket Making Facilities
Israel struck the targets in the enclave controlled by Hamas after two rockets were fired into the southern city Israeli of Ashkelon. While one of the rockets was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the other landed on an open area. The Israeli authorities said there were no damage or injuries.
Following the Israeli strikes, two more rockets were fired from Gaza, and the projectiles landed in open areas in the southern communities of Moshav Ahuzam. Israel then carried out more strikes inside Gaza, striking rocket production facilities.
The IDF said the attacks were carried out in response to rocket launches and machine gun fire from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. "Terrorists in Gaza just fired 2 rockets toward Israeli civilians. 1 of the rockets was intercepted by the IDF Aerial Defense Array," the IDF tweeted.
Meanwhile, Hamas said Israeli strikes will not be able to 'break the will' of Gaza. "The occupation, with all the tools of terrorism and American support, will not be able to break the will of our steadfast people and their valiant resistance," said Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem, according to JPost.
On Thursday, Biden said in Jerusalem that the US is committed to using military force in order to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. The US-Israel Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration signed by Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Washington will use "all elements of national power" to stop Tehran from making a nuclear weapon.
Biden also vowed to continue to military aid to the Jewish state, adding that the ties between Washington and Tel Aviv are 'bone-deep'.
"You don't need to be a Jew to be a Zionist ...The connection between the Israeli and American people is bone deep ... I am proud to say that US relations with Israel are deeper and stronger than they have ever been," Biden said, according to Al Jazeera.