IDF hits Gaza after rocket fire at end of Sharon funeral


Missiles land in open area near border fence; no injuries or damage reported




The Israeli Air Force struck targets in the central Gaza Strip Monday evening, according to Palestinian sources, soon after two rockets were fired from Gaza in to the Negev.


Israel Radio reported the Israeli jets hit Islamic Jihad targets near the city of Deir el-Balah. No injuries were reported.



The Israeli strikes came after two rockets were fired at the western Negev from Gaza on Monday afternoon just as the funeral for former prime minister Ariel Sharon ended.


“The terrorists and their infrastructure operating in the Gaza Strip will not succeed in their grotesque intentions,” said IDF Spokesman Peter Lerner in a statement. “The IDF will seek them out, eliminate their capabilities and pursue them wherever they may hide. Hamas and its terrorist servants are not immune; it is our moral obligation and calling to protect Israel against such atrocious acts.”


The two rockets fell in an open area near the border fence in the Sha’ar Hanegev regional council. There were no injuries or damage reported.


Many of Israel’s top leaders and local and international dignitaries were nearby at the Sharon family’s Sycamore Farm, located just east of the town of Sderot and only seven kilometers (4.3 miles) from the border with Gaza.


Among leaders at the funeral were Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres, US Vice President Joe Biden and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.


Earlier in the day two more rockets had landed inside the Gaza Strip. The IDF said they were test fires by militant groups in the Strip.

Officials had expressed worries over Gaza militants targeting the Sharon funeral, moving Iron Dome anti-missile batteries to protect the high-profile event from attack.


Gazan rockets have hit the Sharon property several times in the past.