Israel, Hamas face off in fresh Gaza conflict

2014-07-09 08:13
Palestinian militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, attend the funeral of militant Mohammed Obied during his funeral in the town of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. (Said Khatib, AFP)

Palestinian militants of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing, attend the funeral of militant Mohammed Obied during his funeral in the town of Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. (Said Khatib, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Jerusalem - Israeli warplanes pounded targets in the Gaza Strip Wednesday as a major campaign to stop volleys of Palestinian rocket fire entered its second day, leaving 28 people dead and more than 100 wounded.

A strike on a home in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, claimed the lives of a commander of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, his parents, a woman and two children, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Another strike early on Wednesday on the southern city of Rafah killed a young man.

The deaths brought to 28 the number of fatalities since the launch of Israel's Operation Protective Edge early on Tuesday, with the Jewish state not ruling out a ground operation to stop the rocket attacks.

Israeli air strikes took the lives of 24 people while four Hamas militants were killed staging a beachfront assault on an army base just north of the besieged Strip.

Loud explosions

During the day Israel staged multiple air strikes on the Gaza Strip, which also left more than 100 wounded, and militants from the Islamist movement Hamas hit back with rocket fire on Israel's major population centres in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in the most serious flare-up over Gaza since November 2012.

As sirens wailed across the Holy City, three loud explosions were heard and a series of flashes lit the sky to the southwest.

Police said one rocket fell in the vicinity of Ramat Raziel, about 10km from the city's south-western flank and two more fell in outlying areas, without elaborating.

Police spokesperson Luba Samri said there were no reports of injuries anywhere in the Jerusalem area.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said it had fired four M75 rockets at Jerusalem, which lies 65km from the Palestinian enclave.

Abbas calls for international support

It also claimed to have launched a rocket at Haifa, 165 kilometres away.

There was no report of anything hitting the northern port city but the army said a rocket did fall on Hadera, 100 kilometres north of Gaza.

Hamas militants also said Tuesday they fired four rockets at Tel Aviv, 60 kilometres north of Gaza, setting sirens off across the city. Earlier, another rocket aimed at Israel's commercial capital was shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile defence system.

Israeli authorities said that public bomb shelters in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem had been readied for use.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has demanded Israel "immediately stop" its air campaign and called on the international community to pressure the Jewish state.

"The Palestinian Authority will go to all international organisations to seek protection for the Palestinian people," he said in a televised statement.

"Horrendous crime"

In Tuesday's worst strike, a missile slammed into a house in the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis killing eight people and wounding 25, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Witnesses said an Israeli drone fired a warning flare, prompting relatives and neighbours to gather at the house as a human shield. But an F-16 warplane fired a missile at the building, levelling it.

Hamas denounced the attack as "a horrendous war crime" and vowed retaliation against "all Israelis".

In addition, Israeli troops killed four Hamas militants who reached the Israeli coastline by sea and tried to attack an army base near Zikim.

"A number of terrorists came out of the ocean and attacked... with Kalashnikov rifles and hand grenades," said Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, who said they were all killed.

The attack was claimed by the Qassam Brigades.

40 000 reservists mobilised

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would "not tolerate the firing of rockets on our cities and towns".

"We have therefore significantly expanded our operations against Hamas and the other terrorist organisations in Gaza," he said in a statement.

His remarks came after the security cabinet approved the call-up of some 40 000 reservists, as a senior official told AFP the military was preparing all options to stamp out the rocket fire, "including an invasion or a ground operation".

"We have been instructed by the political echelon to hit Hamas hard," military spokesperson General Moti Almoz said in an interview with army radio. Two brigades were already stationed around Gaza, with more to join them in coming days.

Urgent UN Security Council meeting

Since 12 June, when the current round of tit-for-tat violence began, the army says hundreds of rockets have hit southern Israel, with another 40 intercepted.

So far, no Israelis have been injured or killed. Washington condemned the rocket fire as the "deliberate targeting of civilians" by militants and the European Union also denounced the "indiscriminate" fire from Gaza and the "growing number of civilian casualties... caused by Israeli retaliatory fire" and demanded an immediate ceasefire.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged Hamas to halt its attacks, while Turkey called for an immediate end to the Israel assault.

The Arab League, meanwhile, called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting on the crisis.
Read more on:    hamas  |  mahmud abbas  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  israel  |  palestine  |  middle east peace  |  gaza
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
54 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may be bothering you. A flooded mind and impulsive reactions are not a good combination as you are not thinking clearly....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.