Israel braces for Hamas rockets from Gaza after deadly West Bank raids


The IDF is bracing for a possible barrage of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip later on Sunday in response to the deaths of at least five Palestinians in a wave of Israeli arrest operations across the West Bank. 

Two IDF soldiers were injured and five Palestinians were killed during clashes in a series of anti-Hamas operations across the West Bank. The wave of arrests in five different locations in the West Bank targeted a Hamas cell that Israeli security forces had been tracking for several days and was planning an attack. The raids were led by the Duvdevan counter-terrorism unit as well as the Israel Police and Border Police YAMAM and YAMAS counter-terrorism units and the Shin Bet security services.

IDF sources said that it was possible that Hamas would decide to fire rockets from Gaza in response to the operation. 

Islamic Jihad gunmen attend a funeral of one of the Palestinians killed late Saturday night in clashes with the IDF in the West Bank village of Burqin. (credit: REUTERS/RANEEN SAWAFTA)

“This was a Hamas cell, one that we have been following for a long time with intelligence from the Shin Bet. There’s always a chance that there can be rockets, especially since this was a Hamas cell and the group is always trying to connect Gaza to the West Bank,” IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Ran Kochav said Sunday afternoon.