woensdag 12 maart 2014

Israeli artillerie and air strikes against Gaza after more than 70 rockets were fired from the Strip

Photo: EPA
Tanks opened fire on targets in Gaza, after a barrage of rockets hit places in Israel. 

Updated. Israel launched artillery strikes against the Gaza Strip as a barrage of rockets from the besieged coastal enclave hit southern Israel on Wednesday, with no reported injuries.
 Somewhat later in the evening Israeli air forces launched air strikes across the Strip, with no immediate reports of injuries. The strikes hit a number of military targets as well as a number of open areas. Strikes hit a site belonging the military wing of Islamic Jihad in Rafah, and an open area in the south. Three rockets were also fired at the Huttein military site belonging to the al-Quds Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip.
Furthermore the Israeli air forces launched a strike on al-Quds Brigades in al-Qara neighborhood in Khan Younis, and several strikes at sites belonging to the al-Qassam Brigades (the military wing on Hamas) west of Rafah. Earlier, Israeli bombed a target north of Beit Lahia in the north. Local sources said an Israeli drone fired a rocket at an empty land near a residential area. No injuries were reported in any of the strikes.
The strikes came after the militant group Islamic Jihad said it had fired 130 rockets into Israel, in response to an Israeli airstrike the day before that killed three Palestinian militants in the coastal enclave. The three were killed when they tried to withstand an incursion by Israeli troops east of Khan Younis. The al-Quds Brigades, the group's armed wing, claimed responsibility for the operation, which it named "Breaking the Silence."
A spokesman for the al-Quds Brigades said that the group was not breaking the truce between Israel and Hamas, but was merely "responding" to Israeli killings of seven Palestinians in the last two days, including three in Gaza on Tuesday.
"We are aware of the siege and division" between Palestinian political factions, spokesman Abu Ahmad told Ma'an, "but I don't think our silence to the attack won't ease the siege," he explained.
Haaretz reported: The missiles struck various locations near the Strip, causing no injuries besides one 57-year-old woman who was lightly hurt when she ran towards a safe zone. One missile hit Sderot, another landed within Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, and others struck areas around Netivot, Sdot Negev and Eshkol Regional Councils.
The IDF's Iron Dome system successfully intercepted three rockets, and area residents have been called to stay within protected areas.
Israel will react "very forcefully" against the rocket fire, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to the attacks.

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