(MENAFN - Arab News) The Israeli air force hit three targets in Gaza yesterday, hours after a rocket fired from the territory exploded near a house in southern Israel, sources on both sides said.
"Aircraft targeted a terror activity site in the northern Gaza Strip, and two terror activity sites in the central Gaza Strip. Direct hits were confirmed," a statement from the Israeli military said. "The sites were targeted in response to the rocket fire toward southern Israel."
Palestinian security officials said there were no casualties from the strikes, one of which hit an unmanned training camp of the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the ruling Hamas movement, south of Gaza City.
They said that the other two hit open ground near the Nusseirat and Al-Bureij refugee camps in central Gaza, possibly used as rocket launch sites. On Friday night, Gaza militants fired a Grad rocket that exploded in the yard of a residential building in the southern Israeli town of Netivot.
One person was taken for medical treatment suffering from shock, and the building was damaged by the rocket.
The MujahIdeen Shoura Council, a Salafist group, issued a statement saying it fired the rocket on Netivot.
On Thursday, Israeli warplanes raided a training camp of the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, several hours after Gaza militants fired two rockets into southern Israel.
Meanwhile, dozens of olive trees were set ablaze in a Palestinian village early yesterday, in an attack that villagers and Palestinian security officials blamed on Jewish settlers.
Residents of Qaryut village, 15 km south of the West Bank city of Nablus, said that the fires had been set at several different spots simultaneously and security officials said the evidence pointed to an arson attack by residents of the neighboring settlement of Eli.
Seventy of the village's olive trees were cut down in the early hours of Wednesday, the first day of the olive harvest, a period when Jewish settlers have in the past raided Palestinian farmers and their crops.
Figures released last year by the international aid group Oxfam indicated there are approximately 9.5 million olive trees in the West Bank, where the crop is a vital source of revenue for Palestinian farmers.
In a good year, the olive harvest contributes around 100 million in income to some of the poorest Palestinian communities.