THU 14 - 11 - 2019
Date: Oct 25, 2018
Source: The Daily Star
Israeli warplanes strike Gaza after rocket fire
Agence France Presse
OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israeli warplanes hit Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early Thursday in response to rocket fire from the territory into southern Israel, the army said.

The fighter jets targeted a military compound in the northern Gaza Strip, and a training facility and a munitions manufacturing and storage site in the south, it said in a statement.

Gaza's militant rulers, Hamas, said there had been no casualties in the strikes.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said the raids were in response to a rocket fired from Gaza that caused no casualties or damage but that evaded Israel's Iron Dome defense system, triggering an inquiry.

It was the first such fire from Gaza since Oct. 17, when a rocket severely damaged a family home in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, prompting some 20 retaliatory airstrikes and the temporary suspension of fuel deliveries to Gaza.

Hamas and its allies disavowed the recent rocket fire, blaming fringe groups bent on sabotaging United Nations and Egyptian efforts to broker a long-term truce in return for a relaxation of Israel's crippling 11-year blockade of the impoverished territory.

But Israel has vowed repeatedly to hold Hamas to blame for any rocket fire, regardless of who launched it.

"The Hamas terror organisation is responsible for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it," the army said Thursday.

The latest flare-up comes after months of Palestinian protests along the Gaza border, which have drawn a deadly response from Israeli troops.

The protesters have been demanding an end to Israel's blockade and the right of return to land now inside Israel, from which their families were expelled or fled during the 1948 war that accompanied its creation.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed in the territory by Israeli fire since the protests began in March. One Israeli soldier has been killed in the border area over the same period.

The air force Wednesday struck a position in Gaza used by protesters to launch incendiary balloons into Israel, the military said.

Palestinian fire kites and balloons have destroyed large areas of Israeli farmland causing hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of crop losses.

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