Israel under fire
Yaalon Vows 'Strong Hand' Against Gaza Terrorists

Defense Minister speaks to Sderot mayor following rocket fire, as Israeli jets target Gaza rocket launchers.

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Ari Soffer,

Sderot factory fire after rocket attack
Sderot factory fire after rocket attack
Flash 90

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has vowed to strike hard at terrorists in the Gaza Strip and stem the escalating rocket fire against Israeli communities in the south.

Speaking with the mayor of the embattled southern town of Sderot, Yaalon said the IDF would keep up its operations against those responsible for the attacks. Yaalon was speaking to the mayor after a barrage of rockets Saturday night struck a factory in the town and burned it to the ground.

"We will not tolerate attempts by terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip to disrupt the daily lives of the residents of the south," Yaalon told mayor Alon Davidi, adding that the military would act "with a strong hand" against the sources of the rocket fire within the Hamas-run territory.

The Defense Minister's statement comes after the Israeli Air Force struck three concealed rocket launchers in the Gaza Strip in response to the attack on Sderot. At least three people were injured in the attack, which comes amid a recent escalation since Hamas terrorists kidnapped three Israeli teens on June 12.

The Iron Dome anti-missile defense system on Friday evening intercepted two rockets from Gaza towards the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council in southern Israel, just hours after a barrage of three rockets exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council, and a mortar shell was fired from Gaza as well.

Ahead of the rockets, the IAF conducted an airstrike, targeting a car in Gaza and killing two terrorists. The terrorists were identified by the IDF as Osama Hasoumi and Mohammed Fasiah, who were liquidated over being involved in the recent rocket escalation. Islamist sources in Gaza claimed the men were members of ISIS, the radical global jihadi group which broke off from Al Qaeda.

That IAF strike followed attacks emanating from Gaza on Friday morning, when a bomb exploded near troops manning Israel's security fence. The blast went off as an IDF patrol passed through the area, in what apparently was a targeted attack.