Rockets fired from Gaza, Israel stages air strikes, after botched raid

16 November, 2018, 13:58 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • An Israeli soldier stands next to an armoured vehicle in kibbutz Nahal Oz

Israel launched more air strikes on Gaza on Tuesday as Palestinians kept up rocket fire on Israeli territory, in the worst surge of violence since a 2014 war.

The current flare-up began when an Israeli force on an intelligence gathering operation in Gaza was discovered and in the ensuing firefight seven Palestinians, including a senior figure in the Hamas military wing, were killed.

Israel launched the airstrikes on Monday in response to an intense barrage of rocket fire from Gaza.

Missile defences intercepted more than 100 rockets from Gaza and most others fell in open areas, though some hit houses and other civilian structures, the military said.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008, and deadly clashes in recent months have raised fears of a fourth.

Two Israeli soldiers have been killed in that time.

"Israel has a history of carrying out serious violations of worldwide humanitarian law in Gaza - including war crimes - with impunity and displaying a shocking disregard for Palestinian lives".

On Sunday Israeli forces infiltrated into the Gaza Strip in a civilian vehicle and opened fire on a group of its armed men near the city of Khan Younis, killing one of its commanders, Nour Baraka.

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a trip to Paris and rushed home as tensions rose, and yesterday convened a meeting of security chiefs.

Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, said the Israeli special forces team had infiltrated near Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip in a civilian auto. Among the dozens of targets destroyed by Israel last night were Hamas' Al-Aqsa Television station, its radio station, and a Hamas office building.

Militant group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said two of those killed were its members and the third was from Islamic Jihad's armed wing.

"I'm doing everything I can to prevent an unnecessary war", the Israeli leader told reporters in Paris, shortly before he chose to scrap a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron so he could return early to Jerusalem.

Earlier today, a Palestinian was killed and three others injured when hit by a missile fired by a drone to the southwest of Gaza City.

Medics also said six people from the southern Israeli city of Sderot were lightly wounded.

The shelling comes after rockets were fired from Gaza towards Israel, leaving one Israeli settler in critical state.

Israeli gunfire has killed more than 220 Palestinians since the start of the demonstrations, which have included breaches of the border fence.

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