Palestinian rockets, Israeli airstrikes jolt tenuous Gaza truce

17 Novembre, 2019, 00:30 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • An Iron Dome battery in southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip

The rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome Aerial Defence System.

Israel's military, however, said on Saturday that it would hold Hamas responsible for any attack emanating from Gaza.

According to sources that spoke to the Israeli newspaper, the military wanted to target the infrastructure of the Palestinian people and was not aware that there would be civilians in it. The militant group that has been ruling Gaza since 2007 was not at the centre of the latest escalation of tensions earlier this week and had not been the target of the retaliatory bombings from Israel.

Hamas, the Islamist movement that has de facto control over the Gaza Strip, has so far kept its distance from the deadly exchanges of fire that erupted this week.

Senior Hamas officials were accosted by Islamic Jihad supporters when they tried to visit a mourning tent for Baha Abu al-Ata, the assassinated Jihad commander.

That strike triggered nearly immediate retaliatory rocket fire from Islamic Jihad at Israel, setting off air-raid sirens and sending Israelis rushing to bomb shelters in the country's southern and central regions.

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Israel then responded with its own air strikes, saying it had targeted Islamic Jihad militant sites and rocket and missile-launching squads.

Israel's military said around 450 rockets were fired at its territory in the fighting and air defenses had intercepted dozens of them in fireballs high in the sky.

This came less than 24 hours after the end of the two-day Israeli offensive which resulted in the death of 34 Palestinians and wounded 111 others. One strike that flattened a house, killed eight members of a Palestinian family, including five children. There were no Israeli fatalities.

Sirens sounded in the middle of the night in Beersheba, the largest city in southern Israel, some 18 miles from the Gaza border, warning of incoming fire.

The escalation of violence comes two days after a fragile ceasefire was agreed between the Islamic Jihad group and Israel on Thursday.

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