Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Israel strikes Gaza after rockets fired from enclave

Palestinian mourners carry the body of a Hamas member killed by Israeli fire during his funeral in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip Swedish activists sent home after being arrested by Israel
Ellis Copeland | 09 August, 2018, 10:43

One Hamas militant was killed in the air strikes, as was a Palestinian woman and her 18 month old child, Palestinian officials said.

The rocket fire also comes as a senior Hamas official said United Nations and Egyptian mediated ceasefire talks between the terror group and Israel have reached "advanced stages" and a deal was expected to be signed soon.

The Israeli army did not immediately comment on the incident, but said it had struck around 100 "military targets" belonging to Hamas in the strip.

Israel launched air strikes on Gaza late Wednesday, killing one Hamas militant, after dozens of rockets were fired from the enclave into its territory. Israeli fighters also struck a tunnel on the Mediterranean coast and targeted weapons and rocket manufacturing sites, as well as a military complex serving as a central logistic warehouse, the IDF noted.

Smoke plumes could be seen rising from Gaza City Wednesday evening.

At least six Palestinians were reported injured by the Hamas-run health ministry. The Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted at least 21 launches that sent rockets heading for densely populated areas in the south; nevertheless, the projectiles that managed to find their targets did considerable damage.

One person was lightly wounded by shrapnel while several others were treated for shock in Sderot, the United Hatzalah medical service said.

Rockets fired from Gaza into Israel as seen from Sderot.

Sirens were sounded in several areas close to the border with Gaza, warning residents to seek immediate shelter, the Israeli army said.

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"As of now, approximately 70 rocket launches were identified from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory".

Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations' humanitarian coordinator for the Palestinian territories, in a news release called Israel's restriction of fuel imports "a risky practice, with grave consequences on the rights of people in Gaza".

In a written statement, the Ezzeddin Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attacks.

He called on all sides to step "back from the brink".

The nearly daily airborne arson attacks have been part of months of weekly border protests led by the Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza aimed in part at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after it took control of the territory in 2007.

Boys walk past a fence in the Israeli town of Sderot damaged by an earlier round of rocket fire from Gaza on July 14, 2018.

The attacks by Gaza terrorists have been part of the ongoing tensions between Israel and Hamas in recent months, which have included near weekly protests every Friday along the Israel-Gaza border.

The majority were killed during violent protests, but others have died in airstrikes or tank fire.

In an earlier statement, the Israeli military said gunmen had fired on its soldiers from a Hamas post, which was shelled by a tank in response.

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