Israeli F16 jets carried out early on Thursday five successive airstrikes on several targets in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in response to earlier projectile attacks on southern Israel, witnesses said.
They said that the jets flew over the costal enclave and struck non-populated areas in northern Gaza Strip, causing no damages and no injuries, but huge explosions were heard all over the enclave.
Over the past two weeks, Gaza militants have escalated their homemade rocket attacks on Israel in a vow to topple the direct peace talks taking place this week in the region between Israel and the Palestinians.
Witnesses said the planes struck a factory that produces agricultural products in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis. The factory was badly damaged, and large flames were visible.
The planes also attacked the area around the smuggling tunnels under the borderline between the Gaza Strip and Egypt. Residents of Rafah townspeople said huge explosions were heard, but no injuries were reported.
The Israeli attacks came in response to earlier mortar shells and homemade projectile attacks carried out by Gaza militants on southern Israel. According to Israel Radio, no damages or injuries were caused.
Earlier Wednesday, one Palestinian was killed and two were wounded after Israeli planes struck a smuggling tunnel under Egypt-Gaza borders. Israel said the tunnel belongs to Hamas militants.
First Published: Sep 16, 2010 08:06 IST