Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza after rocket intercept

Smoke rises during Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, Feb. 2, 2023.[Reuters]

Israeli forces carried out airstrikes early Thursday in the Gaza Strip, hours after Israeli air defenses intercepted a rocket fired from Gaza.

Israel's military said the airstrikes targeted a rocket production facility used by the militant group Hamas.

There were no reports of casualties.

Following Wednesday's rocket intercept, Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir tweeted that he would go forward with plans to toughen conditions for Palestinian prisoners.

The rocket attack and airstrikes come amid an increase in violence that included a Palestinian gunman killing seven people near a synagogue in East Jerusalem and Israeli forces killing 10 Palestinians during a raid in a West Bank refugee camp last week.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged calm between the two sides as he visited the region earlier this week.