Tuesday, 20 November, 2018

Israeli jets strike Gaza in response to Palestinian rockets

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Screen Capture Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Screen Capture
Faye Gross | 18 October, 2018, 00:42

Israeli officials rejected the claim, saying only Hamas and Islamic Jihad had the capability of shooting rockets that could reach Beersheba.

The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have announced they thwarted an attack by a "terrorist squad" from the Gaza Strip on the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council hours after a similar attack of the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

One Palestinian was killed after Israeli jets struck targets in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday following a rocket fired from thr enclave struck a house in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

A mother and her three children were safe because they had gone to the bomb shelter when the warning sirens sounded.

"The explosives blew a large hole in the fence, through which around 20 terrorists infiltrated into Israel under the cover of a dense cloud of smoke created by burning tires", the JCPA reported.

One 25-year-old Palestinian militant was killed and three others were wounded in the Gaza strikes.

The Israeli army pounded several Hamas targets in Gaza after the nighttime missile launches, killing at least seven Palestinian Arabs, according to Palestinian media. Israel says it's defending its border.

Israel views the protests as riots and says its response is a justified defense of Israeli civilians living in the Gaza periphery.

The head of Egyptian military intelligence, Abbas Kamel, is scheduled to visit Gaza this week to renew high-level cease-fire talks.

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Israel Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the closure of both border crossings with the enclave.

It also reduced the permitted fishing zone along the Gaza coast to three nautical miles. The blockade has restricted Hamas' ability to govern and made life extremely hard for Gaza's 2 million residents.

The protests have intensified as Egyptian-mediated cease-fire efforts faltered.

Growing voices within Israel's leadership have been calling for a stronger response to ongoing weekly protests along the Gaza border fence.

Egypt and the United Nations have reportedly scrambled to try to negotiate a calm between the sides since the rocket attack on Beersheba, which came days after Israeli leaders had already threatened a wider offensive over near-daily border riots and launches of incendiary balloons and kites. Over the weekend, Israel halted Qatari-donated fuel shipments to Gaza's power plant in response to escalating violence.

Israel Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu told his ministers on Sunday that if Hamas doesn't come to its senses "they will be stopped in a different way".

The situation in southern Israel further deteriorated last Friday when an estimated 15,000 Palestinian Arabs participated in an orgy of violence along the border with Israel, while Hamas used the chaos to launch another attempt to infiltrate the Jewish state and to kidnap IDF soldiers. But he said Israeli policy dictated an "immediate and forceful retaliation" against Hamas because the groups controls Gaza.

"Hamas isn't trying to achieve any truce with Israel".

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