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Rocket kills 3 Israelis after deadly airstrike
Published Thursday 15/11/2012 (updated) 16/11/2012 11:52
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Palestinians carry the body of Ahmed al-Jaabari, Hamas's military
mastermind, during his funeral in Gaza City Nov. 15, 2012. Hamas
fired dozens of rockets into southern Israel on Thursday, killing
three people, and Israel launched numerous air strikes across Gaza
Strip, threatening a wider offensive. (Reuters/Mohammed Salem)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip on Thursday struck an apartment building in southern Israel, killing three people after an Israeli airstrike killed two Hamas fighters and a security officer.

The deadly rocket attack was the first since Israel launched an air assault on the Gaza Strip a day earlier.

Early Thursday an Israeli attack killed a senior police official in the Gaza Strip government and two members of Hamas' military wing in early morning attacks, medics said.

Security commander Habes Masmah, 30, was targeted while riding a motorcycle east of Khan Younis, medics said. His body was taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis.

Two members of Hamas' al-Qassam Brigades were also killed in the attack. They were identified as Wael Haidar al-Ghalban and Hisham Muhammad al-Ghalban.

Hamas' armed wing launched dozens of rockets into southern Israel, killing three people.

Israeli police said the three died when a rocket hit a four-story building in the town of Kiryat Malachi, some 15 miles north of Gaza. They were the first Israeli fatalities of the latest conflict.

The al-Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for launching hundreds of projectiles including Katyusha rockets toward Ashkelon, Beersheva, Ashdod and south of Tel Aviv.

The group said it launched 10 Grad rockets at Ashkelon, 19 rockets toward Sufa and Nir Yitzhak, and five rockets toward Kiryat Gat near the Gaza border.

Islamic Jihad's armed wing as well as the Democratic Front's National Resistance Brigades said in separate statements that they launched attacks on Ashdod and Beersheva.

Israel on Wednesday assassinated Hamas's military mastermind and shelled the enclave from the land, sea and air, killing 13 people, including five militants, three children and a pregnant woman.

More than 100 were wounded.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting late on Wednesday to discuss the Israeli assault. It called for a halt to the violence, but took no action.

Expecting days or more of fighting, Israel warned Hamas that all its men were in its sights and dropped leaflets in Gaza telling residents to keep their distance from militants and Hamas facilities.

"The leaflets stress that Hamas is dragging the region toward violence, and that the IDF is prepared to defend the residents of the State of Israel until quiet is restored to the region," the military said in a statement.

Israel weathered censure from influential Arab powers Egypt and Qatar. The United States condemned Hamas, shunned by the West as an obstacle to peace for its refusal to renounce violence and recognise Israel.

Hamas has said the killing of its top commander, Ahmed al-Jaabari, would "open the gates of hell" for Israel. It also appealed to neighbouring Egypt to halt the "barbaric" assault.

Reuters contributed to this report.
1 ) War Crimes / \ Self-Defense
15/11/2012 14:07
- The "Islamic Jihad's armed wing as well as the Democratic Front's National Resistance Brigades said in separate statements that they launched attacks on Israeli Cities of Ashdod and Beersheva", where each rocket is a war crime.
- Israel only targets Islamic armed wing fighters, their leaders, and their rockets, where every such strike is self-defense !!

2 ) self defence is killing babies / USA
15/11/2012 17:37
israhell has been one big war crime since hetzl's steamy dream

3 ) Golden Dome / USA
15/11/2012 18:27
Isreal forces have sophisticated weaponry and capibilities to fight surgically if it chooses to do so. Hamas does not! They would be glad to have guided missiles and Shin Bet assassins if Israel wishes to share American technology. Let Gazans have their freedom.

4 ) matt / usa
15/11/2012 18:40
@ 1 Israel doesnt attack anybody, they are a peacefull govenrment. Israel's Military wing does. You cant blame the israel for what its military wing does

5 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
15/11/2012 20:20
So now the mutual, mass death and destruction on both sides--I may as well say co-mutual, mass suicide--continues and escalates. We now have to bury 3 of us and unless this madness stops who knows how many more on each side. The Iron Dome missile defenses we're using are only partly effective, allowing at least as many rockets/missiles through as they might intercept (and apparently more are getting through than being stopped). Point is: Even if we invade Gaza and commit full-blast (cont.)

6 ) Yehuda Solomon / Israel
15/11/2012 20:27
military force to eventually "win" another "ceasefire" (in Arabic: a Hudna) it wil be a pyrrhic victory, completely useless in the long-term. Between our government going crazy over the upcoming Palestinian U.N. upgrade and this insane war Israel will be going through hell.

7 ) ian / australia
15/11/2012 22:51
The rocket which killed three Israelis in Kiryat Malachi was obviously fired by a demented, deluded factional fighter...but only after having been poked and prodded and provoked by Israel to fire it. So who is to blame for these Israeli deaths? The uneducated, unemployed, radicalised guy who pulled the trigger or the government which cynically goaded him into doing it?

8 ) Colin Wright / USA
16/11/2012 00:07
Poor Israel. There they were, just innocently killing Palestinians -- and their victims fired back! My heart bleeds for them.

9 ) Colin Wright / USA
16/11/2012 00:09
To matt #4 '@ 1 Israel doesnt attack anybody, they are a peacefull govenrment. Israel's Military wing does. You cant blame the israel for what its military wing does' Poor Matt. The cause you support is so evil that the defenses you find yourself concocting aren't even connected to reality.

10 ) Amira / Canada
16/11/2012 00:44
The truth is that it is apartheid israel that started bombing Gaza here and there, while the wild settlers kept stealing land, destroying olive trees and attacking farmers. Gaza resistance movement is legitime defense against occupation and aggression of their land and their people, as per Geneva Convention and International Law.

11 ) @ #s 2 & 3 / USA too
16/11/2012 03:50
WAR IS MESSY, BLOODY, and only fools expect it to be otherwise, and Israeli forces, though well supplied with Hi-Tech, are NOT perfect, so at the very least, you should also blame the Islamic governments (Iran, Sudan, Egypt, etc.) that criminally supplied the weapons to be used among Gaza civilians, and the Islamic militants (Islamic Jihad, Hamas, PRC, etc.) for the war crimes of using the weapons among Gaza civilians, both of which caused a legal and reasonable Israeli defensive response !!

12 ) Carlos / usa
16/11/2012 03:57
israel only targets civilians. israel only killed Jaafri by accident. Normally israel targets children playing football. The first victims in the israeli instigated violence was children. The israeli propganda never ends,

13 ) @ ian-7, colin-8, & Amira-10 / USA too
16/11/2012 04:01
8- "The rocket which killed three Israelis in Kiryat Malachi was" a WAR CRIME, and the cycle of violence has been going on so long, that both sides can legitimately claim "having been poked, prodded, and provoked". 9- "My heart bleeds for" the innocent victims on both sides, and if you were much of a human being, yours would too !! 10- Gaza just as much "started the bombing" as Israel, with their war crime plans, abductrions, and attacks targeting Israeli civilians !!

14 ) ian / australia
16/11/2012 04:25
#4 "You cant blame the israel for what its military wing does" You keep making this point matt, which I never really get, but if you think Israel's "Military wing" (which is somehow not Israel's "government") is doing something wrong (which "Israel" can't be blamed for) then you should say so.

15 ) ian / australia
16/11/2012 22:22
#13 "...both sides can legitimately claim "having been poked, prodded, and provoked"...Gaza just as much "started the bombing" as Israel..." Not really. There's a root cause. The foundation of Israel on Arab land. Then the illegal occupation/colonisation. Then the blockade (after disengagement). The current melee was instigated cynically by Israel (for political ends) when things were relatively quiet, then escalated cynically, during another lull (the Egypt brokered hudna). All with appalling

16 ) ian / australia
16/11/2012 22:25
(contd.) indifference to the misery inflicted. The crimes of Hamas and Israel are not equivalent or comparable. They are aggression and resistance. Cause and effect. And should both stop.
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