Israel hit by Hamas rockets after covert raid on Gaza

Pauline Gross
November 13, 2018

Workers had evacuated the building after the warning shots, and there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Israel's military acknowledged hitting the building, saying in a statement "it contributes to Hamas's military actions, including by providing operational messaging to militants, directing and explicitly calling for terror activities against Israel, and providing guidance on how to carry out such terror activities".

Israeli medical services say a man has been killed by a rocket that hit an apartment building in southern Israel and a woman was critically wounded.

Israel responded to the rocket attacks with a series of co-ordinated airstrikes against Hamas television station and other targets.

Senior Hamas official Ezzat al-Risheq also called on the worldwide community to condemn the Israeli attacks, which came in response to the launching of hundreds of rockets and projectiles from the Gaza Strip toward Israel in the past 48 hours.

Medics reported at least 10 Israelis wounded. On the Palestinian side of the border, officials say the Israeli airstrikes killed at least two gunmen.

Israeli gunfire has killed more than 220 Palestinians since the start of the demonstrations, which have included breaches of Israel's border fence. The building was destroyed only after its habitats were warned to leave the place.

An Israeli strike in the northern Gaza Strip killed a Palestinian on Tuesday, Gaza's health ministry said, raising the death toll in the enclave to five in less than 24 hours. Thousands of Palestinians and scores of Israelis have been killed, while Hamas has remained firmly in power and Israel has faced worldwide criticism.

In response to the barrage, the heaviest since Operation Protective Edge, Israel struck more than 70 sites belonging to Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the two largest terrorist groups based in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a state visit to Paris commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I returning to Israel.

Citizen on the side of Israel furthest from the Gaza Strip, including the Dead Sea and the Judean Desert, received alerts of incoming rocket fire throughout the day. No injuries were reported.

In all, well over 300 rockets were fired into Israel by midnight, the army said.

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The IDF said, however, that the operation was "not meant to kill or abduct terrorists, but to strengthen Israeli security".

The empty vehicle apparently used by the Israeli force was reduced to a charred chassis after aircraft fired several missiles at it, leaving a gaping crater in the ground.

Rockets have struck Israeli homes in Sderot, Netivot, and Ashkelon.

Due to the secrecy of the operation, Israel has not revealed specific details about the mission.

A funeral was held for the seven Palestinian militants on Monday attended by thousands, including masked Al-Qassam members carrying rifles, some firing into the air.

Sirens in southern Israeli towns and the port of Ashkelon sent residents rushing to bomb shelters. "It was very unpleasant".

The violence threatened to derail stuttering efforts in recent months to forge a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, a process that has been brokered by Egypt, the United Nations and Qatar.

On Sunday, Netanyahu defended his decision to allow the Qatari cash to flow into Gaza as a way to avert an "unnecessary war", maintain quiet for residents of southern Israel and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe in the Gaza Strip.

Naftali Bennett, Netanyahu's education minister and right-wing rival, compared the cash flow to "protection money" paid to criminals.

Violence has simmered since Palestinians launched weekly border protests on March 30 to demand the easing of a blockade on Gaza and rights to lands lost in the 1948 war of Israel's founding. An Israeli colonel was also killed in that incident.

More than 170 demonstrators, most unarmed, have been killed by Israeli army fire in the confrontations in which some of the participants threw stones, burned tires or threw grenades toward Israeli forces.

Egypt urged Israel to back down.

Other reports by GizPress

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