Israel hammers Gaza for 3rd night in ‘vigorous response’ ordered by Netanyahu

Israel continues to pound Hamas targets in retaliation for cross-border attacks from Gaza, as the IDF carries out a “very vigorous response” against the militants, ordered by the Prime Minister as he gears up for his re-election.

IDF fighter jets and other aircraft struck several Hamas targets, including a military compound in the north of the strip and two naval vessels belonging to the group, the army said in a statement. There were no immediate reports of Palestinian casualties from the strikes which occurred at around 1:30am local time on Sunday.

The military said the raids, carried out for a third night in a row, was launched in response to mortar shell attack in southern Israel on Saturday night, as well as “continuing terror activities from the Strip, including balloon explosives” in the last several days.

Reiterating that Hamas bears responsibility for everything that goes on inside the Gaza Strip, the IDF vowed to act “vigorously” against any attacks or provocation, a day after thousands of Palestinians marked the 50th week of the Great Return March protests.

Cross-border tensions along the border fence have witnessed an uptick ahead of the Knesset elections on April 9, prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take a decisive stand this week. “Hamas must understand that [the IDF] will respond to any manifestation of aggression with double the force,” the Prime Minister explained on Thursday, vowing a “very vigorous response” from Israel.

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