Israel hits Hamas TV station after shootout in Gaza
13 November, 2018, 12:48 | Author: Irvin Gilbert
The same outcome would surely follow another confrontation, as any sustained Israeli air assault would no doubt send Hamas operatives into hiding. Sirens continued to sound in Israeli communities close to the Gaza fence on Monday evening, indicating further incoming rocket fire.
The group said that "the blood of the martyrs will not be without price" and "the battle between us and the enemy is continuing".
The ruling Hamas militant group, and the smaller Islamic Jihad group, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire in a joint statement. REUTERS/ Amir Cohen Security personnel check a damaged house in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, following a rocket attack from Gaza November 12, 2018.
The IDF last mobilized and fought a full-blown war against Hamas in the summer of 2014 during Operation Protective Edge. Israeli airstrikes killed the five other militants, they said, adding that Israeli military jets pounded targets as they aided in extracting the soldiers.
What prompted this escalation was a gunfight between Israeli commandos and Hamas fighters near Khan Yunis in Gaza.
These strikes represent an escalation in the IDF's response, as it has resorted to softer targets over the past few months.
Palestinians gather around the remains of a building.
Israel launched a series of air strikes in response. The man apparently sustained the wounds in a mortar attack that struck a bus.
Palestinians sit at the remains of a building. The building was destroyed only after its habitats were warned to leave the place.
The flare-up, in which three Palestinian gunmen and a civilian in Israel were killed, threatened to derail efforts by the United Nations, Egypt and Qatar to broker a long-term truce and head off another major conflict in the impoverished enclave. The burials of several of those killed were led by Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh.
Hamas set up checkpoints across Gaza in a show of force. But he will now be under intense pressure to retaliate given Hamas' unrelenting rocket barrages.
Eleven people in Israel were injured by the rocket fire, prompting retaliatory ground and airstrikes by the Israeli military that left at least three Palestinians in Gaza dead, the Palestinian health ministry said.
Following the incident, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abruptly interrupted his trip to Paris, where he joined more than 60 world leaders to commemorate Armistice Day, and rushed back to Tel Aviv overnight.
In a tweet after his arrival back home, Netanyahu praised the slain officer, whose identity was kept confidential for security reasons, and said "our forces acted courageously". The officer's funeral was being held Monday.
At least 231 Palestinians have since been killed by Israeli fire, the majority shot during protests and clashes, while others died in tank fire or air strikes. The rallies were a call to return to lands lost to Israel at its creation in 1948. It also restricted movement through crossings with Israel, preventing foreign journalists, local businessmen and some aid workers from leaving the territory.
Hamas is demanding an expansion of the permissible fishing zone off the Israeli-controlled Gaza coast, uninterrupted flow of fuel to mitigate chronic power shortages and the lifting of Israeli restrictions on exports and imports. Any sustained response by the Palestinian faction would clearly benefit Netanyahu, who has been lambasted by his political opponents for allowing $15 million in Qatari cash to be transferred to the Strip, mostly as a stop-gap against its ongoing descent into chaos.
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The dead included a local commander for Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the brigades said in a statement. One Israeli soldier was killed and another slightly injured an exchange of fire during the operation, said the army.
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