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Jets strike Gaza after Hamas offers truce
Published Monday 21/03/2011 (updated) 23/03/2011 09:35
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[MaanImages, File]
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli warplanes targeted sites across the Gaza Strip late Monday injuring at least 18 people including seven children, witnesses and medics said.

Ten people arrived at the Ash-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City and seven others were taken to Kamal Udwan Hospital in the north, the BBC reported.

An airstrike in the Zaytoun neighborhood of Gaza City caused considerable damage but no injuries, residents said, and at least two other nearby areas came under fire, a Ma'an correspondent said.

In Tel Aviv, an Israeli military spokesman told Ma'an that the attack targeted two "terror tunnels, two weapons manufacturing and storage facilities, and two additional terror activities sites."

The official emphasized that the attack came in response to the barrage of projectiles fired toward Israeli territory over the past week, including 50 on Saturday for which Hamas claimed responsibility.

"The IDF holds Hamas solely responsible for terror emanating from the Gaza Strip," the spokesman said. The army also "warns Hamas not to continue its aggression," he added.

Among the targets were a police post and a training facility of Hamas' military wing, said the Al-Qassam Brigades which earlier offered to stop cross-border fire into Israel if the Israelis halted attacks on Gaza.

The Al-Qassam Brigades, which lobbed about 50 mortar rounds into Israel on Saturday, made the offer in a statement released after Israeli aircraft raided the enclave earlier on Monday evening.

It said Saturday's barrage had been in response to an Israeli strike last week which killed two of its members, but that it was ready to call an end to the tit-for-tat violence if Israel also did so.

"If the enemy stops the escalation and aggression against our people we will implement the Palestinian national agreement," the statement said, referring to a truce reaffirmed by the main militant factions in January.

The offer, however, came with a warning attached: "The enemy will pay a heavy price if it continues its agression and crimes against our people in the Gaza Strip," the statement added.

In a later statement, Hamas spokesman Taher Al-Nunu said the movement's Gaza government was committed to preserving the informal truce, with the backing of other militant groups.

"The government affirms that there is consensus among the factions regarding the security situation in the strip," he said in a statement.

Shortly before the Al-Qassam Brigades offer, Israeli warplanes raided the Gaza Strip, slightly wounding one man, local witnesses and medical officials said.

Witnesses said the target of the raid was a car repair workshop east of Gaza City, owned by the powerful Doghmush clan which has links to Islamic militants.

The Israeli military, however, said its aircraft hit what a spokeswoman described as "a terrorist tunnel" intended to launch attacks under the Gaza border fence into Israel.

Also on Monday, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon issued a death threat against Hamas leaders.

"If Hamas decides to escalate, we will put an end to it ... We have several actions before putting ground forces in Gaza, including direct threats against Hamas leaders," Ayalon told public radio.

A rocket fired from Gaza overnight on Sunday exploded in southern Israel, causing neither casualties nor damage, several hours after another rocket exploded harmlessly in the town of Ashkelon.

After Saturday's mortar fire Israel pounded Gaza, wounding at least five Palestinians and cutting power supplies.

The mortar attacks, the fiercest since Israel carried out a 22-day offensive codenamed "Operation Cast Lead" against Gaza rocket fire in December 2008 and January 2009, wounded two Israelis and caused minor damage.

In January this year, Gaza's main militant factions confirmed a year-old truce after weeks of increased rocket fire and spiralling tensions along the border prompted a warning from Arab leaders that Gaza risked a major new Israeli invasion.

On Saturday Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni called for just that in response to the mortar barrage.

"The right way to deal with it is with force, just like Israel did during and after Operation Cast Lead," news website Ynet quoted her as telling local authority heads in the border region.

AFP contributed to this report.
1 ) jim n / Sweden
22/03/2011 00:19
If only the palestinians would have thermal scanners, nukes... no reflex knifes.. then the #123 brigade of palestin shoolgirls would kick the entire israeli commando wing in 2 hours without artillery support with thier left arm behind their back! =) be with you../jkmn fr?n sverige..

2 ) Jim n / Eu Swe
22/03/2011 00:25
Good luck pal(s).../J Swe..:-)

3 ) Mo / Canada
22/03/2011 04:08
"[Hamas] said Saturday's barrage had been in response to an Israeli strike last week which killed two of its members." Well that seems fair then, they only attacked Israel for killing two of their members. Of course then this article forgets to mention that these members were killed in the MIDDLE of carrying out an attack. What do you expect should be done to them then, give them a medal? To (1): So you are saying they should escalate back? And then what should Israel do, let them?

4 ) ABE / USA
22/03/2011 04:31
To jim n/Sweden. But they don't!! And I believe if they did they would still not know what to do!! a moron is a moron. If they want a full scale war let them fight this time. Last time they hid behind woman and children when the ISRAELI army entered Gaza. See the ISRAELI army actually entered Gaza. They were right there in front of the Hamas"fighters" What went wrong?

5 ) Rob G / South Africa
22/03/2011 05:44
I feel very sad about the continuous attacks of aggression between Israel and Gaza. It closely resembles an echo of what took place 20 yrs ago within the apartheid regime we lived with in South Africa. The military acts of aggression between a minority right wing against our black brothers left many scarred for life, but there were also intense faction fights between tribal and black political organisations. Nobody wins until ONE brave element decides to stand up and say; "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH"!

22/03/2011 05:53

7 ) Abban / USA
22/03/2011 06:18
just because Hamas trolls camp in protected zones does not make them immune from attack. Lest we forget over 50 rockets were launched by Hamas in the last week. Also, can maan news clarify on what constitutes as "children?" I'm sorry but just because you are under 18 does not make you a child. Odds are the injured was a male of combat age.

8 ) Colin Wright / USA
22/03/2011 08:10
"The right way to deal with it is with force" Indeed. Of course, I have a different 'it' in mind than ol' Tzipi.

9 ) Rami / Hebron
22/03/2011 08:25
The Al-Qassam Brigades want truce with the zionists, then why did they launch their rockets on israel ?
they failed miserably.

10 ) Maha / Jenein
22/03/2011 08:26
Hamas is like fateh, they dont want any resistance but truce with our enemy and silly governmet. im so dissapointed.

11 ) tsuboi / japan
22/03/2011 08:30
our hearts with you GAZA


12 ) Omar / Gaza
22/03/2011 08:47
hamas, your truce is not in my name.

13 ) Salma / Palestine
22/03/2011 08:56
To Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad,
create a no fly zone over Gaza to protect innocent Palestinians, Do you dare. I just wanna know.

14 ) Robert Haymond / Israel/Canada
22/03/2011 09:41
First they launch fifty mortars and rockets against civilian areas of Israel over the past weekend and then, once Israel strikes back so powerfully, they call for a ceasefire. Hamas logic makes no sense unless you put into place their disdain for human life (their own), their love for martydom and their goal of creating propaganda against Israel. During the last "ceasefire", before Operation Cast Lead, they launched over 600 mortars and rockets into Israel in 6 months. We do not trust Hamas.

15 ) Saoirse / ?ire
22/03/2011 12:01
Were is the no fly zone and why aren't the Americans , Brits and french attacking Israel they are attacking civilians areas just like Gaddafi in Libya so they say. oh right sorry i forgot there is no Oil or money to be made from Gaza

16 ) Lukas / AntiZionist
22/03/2011 12:24
Very typical. A truce is offered and it is ignored by those bloodthirsty bastards.

17 ) Tobias / US
22/03/2011 13:13

You offer the Pals a fantasy.
They accept it.
And, thus remain trapped in their situation !!!

18 ) Tobias / US
22/03/2011 14:01

The time for a truce is over, leaving Hamas with a choice to make !!

1- Choose to move beyond a "Call for Truce", and accept a

2- Choose to ACCEPT THE BLOCKADE/SIEGE OF GAZA, without end, and
continually exchange their poorly guided impotent projectiles,
with Israel's deadly accurate attacks !!

The choice is Hamas', and they are making the wrong one again !!!!

19 ) izzy / usa
22/03/2011 15:51
Imagine if after the japanese bombed pearl harbor, They said "oh lets be at peace" does anyone think that amaerica would have said, "ok"????? You cant launch missles/projectiles at the civilian population of another country, and then say you want a truce.

20 ) Victoria / UK
22/03/2011 17:18
Screw you Israel you motherf***kers. People in the West hate you and want you gone. Just wait - a war is coming. Never again will you harm another Palestinian child.

21 ) Tobias / US
22/03/2011 19:41

You should work past your hate, and think rationally.

IF you do, you'll realize that the suffering of Palestinian children is nothing compared to what it will be when a war actually comes,
and the again the body count will be hundreds of Pals, for every Jew.

So, I suggest that they NOT, as you say, "Just wait":

22 ) Abban / USA
22/03/2011 23:47
I would still like to know if any innocent children were injured in this attack. I know the IDF has no interest in harming the lives of innocent children even if they are used as shields by Hamas terrorists. How many missions did Israeli's cancel for fear of harming innocent Palestinians? And then in Libya the UN-backed coalition forces, (sponsored by Arab league of course) is using the human shield excuse as well. I bet they didn't give the Gadaffi regime any warning or honor cease fire LOL

23 ) Victoria / UK
23/03/2011 00:38
Tobias. Thank you for your comment. However, I don't think Israel wants peace. So there's nothing to do but hate. Every war, every death they try and justify. All I want is peace. No child, Palestinian or Israeli should have to die. This has to end! I'd be happy, however, to hear your point of view on this.

24 ) a ilaha illa / gaza
23/03/2011 05:45
victoria victoria victoria, incapable people always hated those who can do to better their lives and lives of others. you are no exception.

25 ) Abban / Victoria
23/03/2011 17:55
Really Victoria? Why is it Brits constantly lecture Israel on its own internal affairs? Aren't you busy bombing Libya and killing hundreds of civilians their? Is Britain a terrorist apartheid state? Oh wait...no, because when Britain does to war it is romantic and just. The Palestinians want a attention and the Euros need a lightening rod from their massacres in Libya. Bashing Israel has always been a way to mend the fence with the Muslim world...when in doubt, blame Israel.
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