(MENAFN- Jordan Times) OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — The Israeli military said it attacked a Hamas training compound in Gaza on Monday in response to alleged rocket strikes from the Palestinian enclave, which have surged since US President Donald Trump recognised occupied Jerusalem as Israel's capital on December 6.
Neither side reported any casualties in the overnight shelling, which occurred days before US Vice President Mike Pence visits Israel and neighbouring Egypt, which also borders Gaza and is involved in its internal politics.
Militants in Gaza, territory controlled by the Hamas Islamist group, have launched more than a dozen
Three structures in a Hamas training camp were hit in the Israeli counter-strike, the military said.
Hamas usually evacuates such facilities when tensions rise, and Israel's choice of the low-profile target appeared to signal a desire to avoid more serious confrontation with the group.
"Israel does not seek escalation," Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said on Army Radio.
But Zeev Elkin, another member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security Cabinet, said in an interview with the radio station that Israel's military response would "have to be harshened" if the rocket fire did not stop.
Israeli officials have blamed the fire on smaller militant groups in Gaza and called on Hamas to rein them in. Should Hamas fail to do so, both Shaked and Elkin said, Israel could eventually target the group's leadership for attack.
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