Israel strikes Gaza after first rocket fire since early May


JERUSALEM: Israeli warplanes bombed bunkers at a Hamas base in Gaza early Thursday following the first rocket fire from the territory since early May, the military said.
Israeli aircraft targeted “underground infrastructure” at the base in the southern Gaza Strip, it said in a statement.
The strike came after Israeli air defenses intercepted a rocket launched from the territory, the first since hundreds were fired in early May in a two-day flare-up which killed four Israelis and 25 Palestinians.
On Wednesday evening, Israel announced it had banned all fishing off Gaza in retaliation for the launch of more incendiary balloons from the enclave.
“Due to the continuous launching of incendiary balloons and kites from the Gaza Strip toward Israel, it has been decided tonight (Wednesday) not to allow access to Gaza’s maritime space until further notice,” the Israeli defense ministry department responsible for Palestinian civil affairs, COGAT, said.
The move came after COGAT said on Tuesday it had reduced the extent of the fishing zone to six nautical miles offshore from 10 nautical miles, having downscaled it from 15 nautical miles a week ago.
A spokesman for the Israeli fire service said incendiary balloons from Gaza caused seven fires on Tuesday alone.
In the past year, Palestinians have succeeded in setting fire to large areas of farmland in southern Israel.
Israel had only restored the fishing limit to 15 miles on June 4, after a previous cut in response to fire balloons.
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza, run by Islamist movement Hamas, have fought three wars since 2008.

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