IDF strikes Gaza after night of rocket launches

17 March, 2019, 00:32 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Palestinians inspect a destroyed Hamas site after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City

Among the terrorist targets was the offices of the Hamas headquarters in Gaza City responsible for directing terrorist operatives in Judea and Samaria, building terrorist infrastructures and transferring money to those responsible for terrorist attacks against Israeli citizens. But an Egyptian delegation has been mediating between the two sides to prevent any further escalation of tensions.

The organising committee of a months-long Palestinian protest campaign also announced that Friday's weekly demonstrations along Gaza's border with Israel had been called off "in keeping with the public interest". The Israeli warplanes could be heard roaring through the skies above Gaza City.

According to sources, the two rockets may have been launched as a result of a "misfire", prompting Israeli warning sirens to blare across the Jewish State for the first time since 2014.

"Hamas carried out the rocket fire against Tel Aviv yesterday evening", Lieutenant-Colonel Avichay Adraee said. There have been no reports of casualties or damage as of yet.

Both Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs Gaza, and its ally Islamic Jihad denied they were behind the rocket fire toward Tel Aviv, raising the possibility they were launched by fringe groups. The Israeli military said several rockets were intercepted by its air defence systems, and there were no reports of injuries. The Israel military has not commented on the officials' claim.

Netanyahu warned Gaza's Hamas rulers on Sunday that Israel would not hesitate to launch a "large-scale operation" in Gaza if provoked.


Naftali Bennett, a right-wing member of Netanyahu's security cabinet whose party is competing against the veteran prime minister's for votes in the coming election, demanded that Israel resume its assassination of Hamas chiefs. The Egyptians left Gaza late on Thursday. "People are afraid of bombs -- like in a war".

Others have been hit by tank fire or air strikes in response to violence from Gaza.

It is the beginning of one of the worst escalations in years, with hundreds of rockets and mortars fired at Israel and dozens of Israeli strikes against Gaza positions. "No interceptions were made by aerial defense systems".

U.S. President Donald Trump's special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, reacted on Twitter, saying, "Hamas violently suppresses its own people demonstrating against Hamas' rule & failures today and NOW fires rockets at cities in Israel".

Nearly daily exchanges between Israel and the Palestinian territory have threatened a wider escalation in hostilities over the past few weeks.

It comes as the one-year anniversary of mass protests and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border fence approaches on March 30.

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