Israel retaliates for rocket fire after Sharon funeral

Israeli airstrikes hit two terror sites in Gaza in retaliation for rockets fired at southern Israel moments after the private funeral service for Ariel Sharon.

Israel reportedly had warned Hamas in Gaza not to fire rockets during the Jan. 13 funeral for the former prime minister at his Sycamore Ranch in the Negev.

The 1,000-acre ranch is located just a few miles from Israel’s border with Gaza and well within reach of rockets fired from the coastal strip.

“It was made clear to them that [Jan. 13] would be a very bad day for anyone there to test Israel’s patience,” Reuters reported, quoting an unnamed Israeli security source.

A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that the Israel Air Force targeted two sites in the central and southern Gaza Strip, and that the “terror infrastructure was used to enhance terror capabilities against Israel.” Direct hits were confirmed, according to the statement. — jta