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A slow and steady escalation is brewing in Gaza, with Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Hamas exchanging fire.
For the third night in a row, Hamas members shelled the territory of Israel. It was all for naught however, as all three occasions had their projectiles intercepted by the Iron Dome.
Two rockets were launched on September 13th, one was intercepted over the town of Sderot, the second was stopped by the Iron Dome over an open field.
Three Israeli citizens were injured, but not by rocket fire – they were simply rushing to shelter. Another two citizens received treatment for “acute anxiety attacks”.
As per usual in such fire exchanges, the IDF carried out a heavily asymmetrical response, by targeting various alleged Hamas positions throughout Gaza with its warplanes.
In response, following the first rocket, the IDF targeted alleged Hamas facilities and caused a bit more damage than anxiety attacks. According to the IDF, four military bases, including an underground tunnel, weapons storage and production facilities, were destroyed.
Following the second rocket, Israeli warplanes struck an alleged Hamas military post and a machine gun which was used to fire towards Israeli territory.
At least 5 buildings were destroyed in response to the two rockets that caused two anxiety attacks and several people to trip while running.
On the day before, the IDF response was even more severe. Hamas fired 1 rocket towards Israeli territory, and it was intercepted.
In response, IDF targeted 13th Division base in central Gaza, the Ain Jalut base to the west of Khan Younis, the al-Bahriyah base in southern Gaza and a chicken farm located on the border with Egypt’s Sinai.
All of these, apart from the chicken farm, belong to Hamas’ military wing.
Why the chicken farm was targeted and exactly what the hens did to the Israelis is unknown.
Heavy material losses were evident, while no human casualties were reported, not even a single person receiving an anxiety or panic attack.
The rockets leading to these severe responses were launched in support of 6 Palestinian prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison on September 6th.
The IDF carried out raids looking for them, even threatening to arrest their family members. Ultimately, by September 13th, 4 of the escapees had been caught, while two remain at large.
Support for the escapees and their alleged protection may lead to another escalation in the West Bank. There are calls among the Palestinians for Hamas and other factions to take action to help secure the last two escapees and free the others from Israeli prisons.