Israel launches air raids on Gaza

2012-11-13 09:00

Jerusalem - The Israeli airforce launched three raids on targets in the Gaza Strip early on Tuesday as military top brass weighed a stronger response to rocket fire from the Palestinian territory.

The air raids hit an uninhabited area to the west of Gaza City, without causing any casualties, Palestinian security sources and witnesses said.

The Israeli targets included a training camp of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigade, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas, the sources said.

An Israeli army spokesperson said the planes attacked an arms dump and two rocket launch sites.

The air raids came hours after Gaza militants on Monday fired six rockets at southern Israel, one of which exploded next to a house.

The number of rockets fired on Monday represented a significant drop from a day earlier, when dozens of missiles crashed into southern Israel, prompting Israel to stage a series of overnight raids.

6 killed

But it was unclear if the slowdown was a step towards a more decisive truce, or a lull.

Palestinian militants began launching rockets into Israel from around 07:30 on Monday.

An initial count of 11 rockets was later revised down to six by the military, with the same number confirmed by the police. Two of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

One rocket landed in Netivot where medics said they treated 26 people for shock.

The latest flare-up began on Saturday night and has claimed the lives of six Palestinians, as armed groups fired scores of rockets at Israel, wounding eight.

Right to protect citizens

Monday's rocket fire was claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Resistance Committees.

Israel's top military officials were said to be weighing whether to launch a stronger response to the flare-up, and Defence Minister Ehud Barak warned that efforts to stamp out rocket fire would intensify.

"These are very important days... in light of the ongoing activity against Hamas and terror organisations in Gaza, which is likely to intensify and expand," he said, quoted by his office.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, touring southern Israel with foreign diplomats, warned that "the world must understand that Israel has the complete right and the obligation to protect its citizens."

"We shall not sit with our arms folded in the face of repeated, almost daily, attacks on our citizens," he added. "We shall act to stop it."


US ambassador Dan Shapiro, writing on Facebook, said "the United States supports Israel's right to defend itself and its citizens from these attacks."

Egyptian security sources said Cairo was attempting to broker a ceasefire, with militants from the ruling Hamas movement and from Islamic Jihad saying they would observe any truce "provided Israel commits to doing the same".

On Saturday evening, militants fired an anti-tank missile at an army jeep, injuring four soldiers. The Israeli military hit back, killing six Palestinians, and wounding more than 30.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Monday urged both sides to "refrain from exacerbating the situation".

The violence, which comes amid an Israeli election campaign, raised the spectre of a broader Israeli military campaign similar to its 22-day Operation Cast Lead, launched in December 2008.

That campaign claimed the lives of 1 400 Palestinians - half of them civilians - and 13 Israelis, 10 of them soldiers.

  • neutedop.opinie - 2012-11-13 09:32

    Why is the heading not reading: Israel retaliating rocket attacks? That is what happened! If they did not shoot rockets, then Israel would not have bombed an EMPTY piece of land......

      abram.spamers - 2012-11-13 10:31

      South Africa actually supports Israel in its self defence but for some reason our reporters always omit the part where they are being attacked on a daily basis by terrorists from Palestine and are facing threats of annihilation by Iran (spoken by their president).

      neutedop.opinie - 2012-11-13 10:34

      This is IOL's same story headline: Nine Gaza rockets hit Israel. Sounds more like the truth!

  • mario.dippenaar - 2012-11-13 09:34

    I have to say that the "iron dome" is an incredible piece of technology. Wikipedia has an entire article about it.

      ricardo.boscaglia - 2012-11-13 11:38

      Iron Dome just got a major upgrade. Check vvv . strategypage . com

  • boaz.yarmarkov - 2012-11-13 10:05

    Dear Editor Thank you for keeping us up-to-date to the events taking place in the Middle East. However, I am writing this because you forgot to report why the Israeli Defence Forces have attacked Gaza today. News24 seems to have left out a “report” after reporting on the ceasefire talks. This should have been the headline that preceded this article, had news24 not been bias: “Despite talk of ceasefire in Gaza, rocket fire continues from Gaza. A rocket exploded in the Israeli City of Ashdod, early this morning when children were on their way to school. The reason for the exact timing is because Hamas’s number one target is Israeli schoolchildren” This is why (now insert the current headline) = “Israel launches air raids on Gaza” Chronological order is important when reporting… otherwise its just propaganda.

      cameronrh1 - 2012-11-13 10:08

      @boaz, the same thing happened yesterday, Hamas timed their rocket salvo against Sderot at the same time that school was coming out.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-13 16:45

      To Fidel, that's Hamas putting its plight and Israel's intransigence in the spotlight.

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-11-13 20:37

      Let's examine this many kids have been killed in Israel's attacks on many kids died during the last Israeli invasion of Gaza..this is of the 1400 Palestinians killed during that last Israeli adventure?So all in all do you blame these militants from firing their rockets at Israel's kids..perhaps the rocket militants are Fathers who have lost kids and cant live with their grief any longer and their only way to cling to sanity is to fire rickets at Israel...I ask you does your argument hold or did you just conveniently forget all those Palestinian kids who died in that not so distant past???

      duncan.gill1 - 2012-11-13 20:42

      boaz.yarmarkov You can justify your Israel as much as you like but the truth is the truth and your Israel is slowly but surely digging it's own continue supporting this loser country and apparently loser nation,until the very bitter end ..when what you should be doing is protesting what they are doing so that they could just maybe come to their senses!

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