Israel launches airstrikes on Gaza after rocket attacks as violence escalates

Smoke rises above buildings in Gaza as Israel launched airstrikes on February 23, 2023.

(CNN)Israel launched airstrikes targeting alleged weapons manufacturing and storage sites in Gaza on Thursday, following a rocket attack from the coastal enclave, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

In a statement, the IDF said "fighter jets struck a weapons manufacturing site" in central Gaza owned by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that runs Gaza.
"In parallel, a military compound belonging to the Hamas Terrorist Organization in the northern Gaza Strip which also was used as a naval weapons storage warehouse was struck," the statement said.
    Earlier Thursday, the IDF said five rockets fired from Gaza toward Israeli territory, including the cities of Ashkelon and Sderot, were intercepted and another rocket fell in an open area.
      The airstrikes come after the deaths of at least 11 Palestinians in Nablus in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, which occurred during a raid by the Israeli military that also left at least 500 injured, Palestinian officials said Thursday. One of the dead targeted in the Nablus raid was a Hamas member, and two were Islamic Jihad commanders, the two militant groups said earlier.
      "Our teams dealt with 488 injuries during the occupation forces' invasion into Nablus, including 103 injuries of live bullets taken to hospitals in Nablus," the Palestinian Red Crescent said. The other injuries included tear gas inhalation and shrapnel wounds, they said. The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the numbers.
      The raid in Nablus lasted about four hours and, unusually, took place in broad daylight because the IDF said it had intelligence on where the suspects were. The IDF accused them of being responsible for the death of an Israeli soldier and of posing an imminent threat.
        Smoke plumes rise as rockets are fired from Gaza City towards Israel at sunrise on Thursday.