Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said the Israeli military carried out the airstrikes on the southern parts of Gaza on Monday night right after six Palestinians broke out of the high-security Gilboa prison.
The raids, he added, were part of the regime’s attempts to hide its inability and defeat in the face of the Palestinian anti-occupation struggles, Press TV wrote.
The Israeli military claimed in a statement that it had hit a Hamas rocket production facility and training camp in the city of Khan Yunis after incendiary balloons from the besieged Palestinian enclave sparked three fires in occupied areas bordering the Strip.
Footage uploaded to social media showed the strikes lighting up the skies. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
Palestinians broke out of the Gilboa prison in the north on Monday through a tunnel dug beneath a sink.
Five of the fugitives belong to the Islamic Jihad movement and one is Zakaria Zubeidi, a former commander of a group affiliated with the mainstream Fatah party, Reuters wrote.
Hamas, that runs the Israeli blockaded Gaza Strip, called the escape "a heroic act and a victory for the will and determination of our heroic detainees".
An initial investigation into the escape showed that surveillance cameras recorded the moment the men exited the tunnel, but none of the guards in the control room noticed.
One of the guards, who was on duty in the watchtower overlooking the tunnel opening, fell asleep during the escape, the probe – launched by Israel’s prison authority – revealed on Tuesday, Al Jazeera reported.
Prison authorities realized they had escaped at approximately 3:00 a.m., it said.
According to the findings, the six men had entered the bathroom in their cell at about 1:30 a.m. and lifted an object that covered a hole on the floor.
The Israeli prison authority has so far evacuated 90 Palestinian prisoners out of a total of 360 held in Gilboa – one of Israel’s most secure facilities. The prison will undergo an intensive inspection in the coming days for other tunnels that may have been dug by other detainees.
‘Israel will pay dearly’
Meanwhile, senior Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batash warned that Israel would pay a heavy price for any attempt to assassinate the six Palestinians.
“The option for the resistance front is to stand up against the [Israeli] enemy and to firmly tread that path, something which the six Palestinians demonstrated well” by escaping the Israeli jail, he said.
“We ask our Palestinian nation to welcome these heroes with open arms and help them. We call on our compatriots in Jenin to help them and not to overlook their rights,” Batash said.
“The option for the resistance bloc is to fight the occupying [Israeli] regime and to continue armed struggle. The enemy is in a state of confusion due to the heavy blow its security and military institutions have suffered [in the wake of Gilboa prison break].”
“Today, our Palestinian heroes must put their trust in our nation.... We tell our inmates that their freedom is a responsibility that rests on our shoulders and the retreat of the enemy is in the best interests of the Palestinian cause,” the Islamic Jihad official added.