Israel strikes Gaza after rocket attacks, hours after Biden visit


Just hours after President Biden concluded his three-day visit to the region, the Israeli military carried out airstrikes on what it said was a Hamas-run Palestine enclave, made in response to a pair of rocket attacks.

The Israel Defense Forces said on Twitter it targeted a Hamas underground facility used for the production of rocket materials after two rockets were launched at the Israeli city of Ashkelon around 1:00 a.m.

“In response to the attacks from the Gaza Strip on Israeli territory, the IDF is continuing to target Hamas weapons manufacturing sites in the Gaza strip,” the IDF said in a statement.

“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 statement continued.

The IDF also posted footage showing an explosion and plumes of smoke billowing over the attack site. Media outlets have also shown separate pictures of fires in Gaza City taken after the air strikes.

Neither rocket launched from Gaza did much damage, according to the Associated Press. One of the rockets was intercepted by aerial defenses and the other fell in an open area, the AP said citing the Israeli military. No injuries were immediately reported.

No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks, which activated warning sirens in Ashkelon and the immediate area. Israel frequently claims Hamas is responsible for any violence that emerges from the Gaza strip.

The attacks come just hours after Mr. Biden wrapped up his visit to the region, where he met with Israeli leaders and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. During the visit, Mr. Biden announced $100 million in U.S. aid for East Jerusalem hospitals that treat Palestinians.

Hamas criticized Mr. Biden’s aid to Palestinians, calling the U.S. “a partner in the aggression on our people.” The group, which refuses to recognize Israel since taking over Gaza in 2007, also criticized Mr. Abbas for meeting with Mr. Biden and expressing support for peace with Israel.

This story was based in part on wire services.

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