Monday, August 8, 2011

IDF jets attack Gaza overnight after rockets fired at Israel's southern towns

Published 08:19 05.08.11
Latest update 08:19 05.08.11

Air Force attacks five military targets in Gaza after third rocket attack from Strip in 24 hours.
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff Tags: Gaza Palestinians IDF

IAF strike on Gaza - Reuters - April 8, 2011 Smoke rises after an explosion in a smuggling tunnel along the borders between Rafah and Egypt, in the southern Gaza Strip April 8, 2011.
Photo by: Reuters 

Israel Air Force jets attacked five targets in the Gaza Strip early Friday morning in response to the firing of Grad rockets at Israel in the last several days.

Hours before the air strike a rocket fell in an open field near the town of Kiryat Gat. The rocket was the third of its kind in 24 hours, but it caused no injuries or damage.
IAF strike on Gaza - Reuters - April 8, 2011

An IDF Spokesperson said that planes attacked three tunnels used for terror activity and a terror activity site in central Gaza and another terror activity site in southern Gaza.

The IDF added that, "The IDF will operate with determination and respond with force against any terror organization attempting to disturb the way of life or harm the citizens of Israel. The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip."

Two additional rockets landed on Wednesday, one near Ashkelon and the other near Kiryat Gat. A woman was lightly wounded on Monday when a Qassam rocket landed near a kibbutz near Ashkelon.

In response to rocket fire Thursday night, the IDF fired rockets of its own at eastern Gaza in trying to hit the cell that had fired the original rockets. Two Palestinians were wounded in the attack, though it was unclear if they were among the militants.

The Abdallah Azzam Brigades took responsibility for the militant rocket fire. The Azzam group is connected to global jihadists and the namesake of the group is considered to be the spiritual progenitor of Osama bin Laden.

Islamic Jihad and other extremist groups that have splintered off from more established militant groups have been responsible for the rocket attacks in recent days. Security sources in Israel said Thursday night that the Hamas government in Gaza is opposed to this round of rocket fire and is currently making an effort to halt it, arresting a number of militants.

At this time, the IDF does not believe that the events will lead to a general escalation in violence unless there are casualties from rockets launched at Israel. Mayors of towns in the area are worried about a possible escalation and have been making appropriate preparations in recent days.

Air Force attacks five military targets in Gaza after third rocket attack from Strip in 24 hours.
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff Tags: Gaza Palestinians IDF

  • Published 14:25 05.08.11
  • Latest update 14:25 05.08.11

IDF redeploys Iron Dome as rocket fire from Gaza increases

IDF deploys missile defense system near Ashkelon; Sdot Negev Regional Council chairman: We are stepping toward the month of September, but we have security problems.

An Iron Dome battery on the outskirts of Ashkelon.
Photo by: Tal Cohen
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff 
The Israel Defense Forces redeployed the Iron Dome missile defense system near Ashkelon on Friday following days of heightened rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.
The Iron Dome's deployment comes a day after Ashkelon Mayor Benny Vaknin, sent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak a letter imploring them to redeploy the missile defense system.
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