Thursday, Sep 18, 2014

Israeli aircraft attack 10 targets in Gaza

Reuters | Jerusalem | Posted: July 6, 2014 1:08 pm | Updated: July 6, 2014 1:11 pm

Israeli aircraft attacked 10 sites used by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Sunday in response to persistent rocket strikes from the enclave, the Israeli military said.

Rocket launchers and a weapons manufacturing facility were among the targets of the air strikes, which followed the firing of a rocket, intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system late on Saturday, at the major southern city of Beersheba.

“Following constant rocket fire at Israeli communities in the south, Israeli aircraft targeted 10 terror sites in the central and southern Gaza Strip,” the military said in a statement.

There were no immediate reports of casualties from the air strikes.

Israel beefed up ground forces along the Gaza frontier on Thursday, signalling that an invasion was an option if rocket fire did not stop. Egypt, a bordering country, has been trying to mediate a truce.

The current flareup began in mid-June after Israel began a crackdown in the occupied West Bank on Hamas, whose power base is in the Gaza Strip, after blaming the Islamist group for the abduction of three Israeli teenagers. Hamas has neither confirmed nor denied the Israeli allegations.

The Israeli youngsters’ bodies were found in the West Bank last week. A day after their burial on Tuesday, a Palestinian teen was snatched off the street in East Jerusalem and his charred body was found in a forest on the edge of the city.

Palestinians believe he was the victim of a revenge attack by far-right Jews. Israel has said the motive for Mohammed Abu Khudair’s killing is still under investigation. No arrests have been announced in the case.

The teen’s death set off violent Palestinian protests in Jerusalem, which continued on Saturday and spread to several Arab villages and towns in northern Israel. Israeli police said those areas were quiet early on Sunday.

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