A rocket was fired at Israel from Gaza on Friday evening despite coronavirus restrictions, sending Israelis from the isolation in their homes into crowded bomb shelters.
“IDF planes and tanks attacked Hamas military positions and infrastructure used for underground activity in the northern Gaza Strip a short time ago,” the IDF spokesperson stated. “The attacks were carried out in response to the firing of a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip toward Israel earlier this evening.”
A rocket was fired from #Gaza at Israeli civilians earlier tonight. We just responded by striking Hamas terror targets in Gaza.
And we’ll defeat them. Both.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) March 27, 2020
The decision to fire rockets at Israel comes right after Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza, closed the mosques due to the coronavirus. Hamas also announced that parties and gatherings of mourners would be banned and event halls, restaurants and cafes would be closed.
A total of 1,568 Gazans are currently isolated in 20 quarantine facilities with another 1,205 self-quarantined in their homes. The World Health Organization set up a field hospital at the Rafah crossing with 38 beds, six intensive care units beds and 30 beds for patients in moderate condition
Anti-Israel groups have used the pandemic as an excuse to call for the removal of the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza which is in place to prevent the import of weapons. Hamas has refused to allow third-party monitoring of shipments.
Since the start of the coronavirus crisis Israel has facilitated the entry of “critical supplies and equipment into Gaza” including protective equipment for health workers, swabs for the collection of samples and other laboratory supplies for COVID-19 testing.