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Israel launches strikes across the Gaza Strip

May 27, 2015 9:33 A.M. (Updated: May 28, 2015 9:52 A.M.)
An Israeli air strike in Rafah on July 12, 2014. (AFP/Said Khatib, File)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) – The Israeli air force attacked several targets across the Gaza Strip early on Wednesday morning, witnesses and Israel's army said, with no casualties reported.

The first airstrike hit an agricultural area in eastern Gaza City near the ruins of Gaza International Airport at around 4:00 a.m, locals told Ma'an.

The second targeted a military site of the Hamas military wing Al-Qassam Brigades, also near the Gaza International Airport, and three missiles were fired at a Hamas military site in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israeli fighter jets then fired a missile at a military site located inthe southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, used by Salah al-Din Brigades, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees.

The strikes came after a rocket fired from the strip struck southern Israel late Tuesday, causing no casualties or damage.

The Israeli army said it struck "four terror infrastructures in the southern Gaza Strip" in response to the rocket attack, according to AFP.

"The reality that Hamas's territory is used as a staging ground to attack Israel is unacceptable and intolerable and will bear consequences," military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner said in a statement.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Tuesday's rocket attack had been carried out by militant group Islamic Jihad.

"If we don't have calm in Israel, the Gaza Strip will pay a heavy price," he said in a statement.

"I do not advise anyone to put this to the test. Israel will not sit back after its citizens were targeted by Islamic Jihad," he added.

The Arab League condemned the Israeli air strikes.

"The extremist Israeli government is trying to find pretexts to divert the international community's attention from resuming (peace) negotiations," Arab League deputy head Ahmed bin Heli told reporters in Cairo.

Shortly after the rocket was reported, the Palestinian Ministry of Interior decided to evacuate security headquarters in Gaza in anticipation of Israeli retaliation, while denying that Islamic Jihad leader Nafez Azzam had any link to the incident, according to a press release.

The incident comes as Palestinian residents of Gaza continue to recover from last summer's war between Israel and Palestinian militant groups that left over 2,200 Palestinians dead, mostly civilians, and 73 dead on the Israeli side, mostly military personnel.

Tuesday's rocket was the third fired from Gaza since the ceasefire, in addition to two mortar bombs reportedly fired at Israel since September, according to the Shin Bet internal security agency.

The UN Special Coordinator (UNSCO) released a report Monday saying the ceasefire that ended the latest war remains "perilously fragile."

While Palestinian armed groups have test-fired around 150 rockets into the sea, Israeli forces have carried out a range of military incursions into the coastal enclave, including two air strikes, the report said.

Gaza-based Israeli watchdog Al Mezan documented Israeli forces opening fire in the border areas inside of the Gaza Strip six separate times during the first ten days of May, leaving four injured including one child.

Wednesday's air strike was the third since the end of the 2014 war.

AFP contributed to this report.
Comments
Hanny / Swiss
The Islamic Jihad and Popular Front have meanwhile claimed responsibility for shooting the rocket. Hamas is rushing to evacuate its command posts and bases for fear of Israeli retaliation.
27/05/2015 10:55
Brian Cohen / Israel
Strange how Maan has not yet reported on the Amnesty report, while jazzing up the headline on this story "across the Gaza Strip" to make it sound like something it wasn't.
27/05/2015 13:12
Dimi / Germany
In this matter Palestinians learn nothing. Instead to go to Yarmouk/Syria
to fight for their brothers they fire rockets at Israel waiting for retaliation
and after that they blame Israel. Under such circumstances even the Arab
"brothers" will stop financing reconstruction of Ghaza .
27/05/2015 13:21
Legal Eagle / Australia
"The reality that Palestine's territory is used by Zionists as a staging ground to attack Palestinians is unacceptable and intolerable and will bear consequences," said me.
27/05/2015 19:14
Outlier / USA
"You cannot teach stupid." Yes, Hamas, I mean you.
27/05/2015 19:32
Luzer / USA
Keep on dreaming of the Gaza airport. Yasser Arafat negotiated a peace deal that you broke after you killed 4 Israeli soldiers. As long as Hamas rules and wants to destroy everything about Israel there will be no airport for you. you should think about the consequences that your deviant behavior has.
27/05/2015 23:33
JoeUSA / USA
Those" terror targets" must have been really terrifying.
28/05/2015 03:03
Ganza Shvanze / Germany
Hanny/Swiss: has Hamas lost it's grip of the Gaza Strip, and is losing control of it's power base?
28/05/2015 08:03
D. / US Whore of Israel
I would die fighting for freedom before allowing a goliath filthy pig israel control my every waking minuet of every day. It's OK to fire live rounds onto poor fisherman...but not OK to have a RIGHT to DEFEND themselves? The day the ground opens up and swallows israel, will be freedom.
29/05/2015 18:02
Carole Sheridan / Canada
The trumped up Zionist attacks on Gaza are obscene. When will the Zionist leaders be brought before the international criminal court of justice.
29/05/2015 19:02
Mel / UK
Israel still uses the Dahiya(2006) Strategy on Gaza, as in Lebanon. Blatantly 'glorying' in disproportionate force war crimes on civilians.
30/05/2015 13:22
Peter / UK
Would all the writers here allow rockets to be fired at there home?! If, for example, North Korea would fire on South Korea or the United States - we would be in WWIII ! You shoot - what do you expect to get? A flower boutique and chocolates?!
02/06/2015 18:47
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