Israel strikes targets in Gaza Strip, 3 killed

10 August, 2018, 10:41 | Author: Carlos George
  • Palestinians gather around a building after it was bombed by an Israeli aircraft in Gaza City

A long-range rocket fired from Gaza struck an uninhabited area outside the largest city in southern Israel on Thursday, Israeli police said, hours after a Palestinian official said an end to a surge in cross-border fighting could be near.

Today's article by Isabel Kershner ("Renewed Clashes Between Israel and Gaza Interrupt Talk of Cease-Fire") fails to report the chronology of events, and erased cause and effect, by telling readers in its opening paragraph that Israel and Hamas spent the night "trading" attacks, as if discussing a simultaneous transaction: "Talk of a long-term cease-fire between Israel and the Hamas rulers of Gaza was abruptly interrupted by cross-border fire late Wednesday and early Thursday as the Israeli military traded blows with Palestinian militants, the latest in a series of recent sharp clashes".

BBC caved into the bullying, editing the title to: "Gaza air strikes "kill woman and child" after rockets hit Israel".

It was the first time since a 2014 war that a rocket had hit that deep inside Israel, according to Israeli media. An Egyptian-Palestinian cultural society also has an office in the building.

It was the third major escalation since July and came despite attempts by United Nations officials and Egypt to secure a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip.

The military said Israel was targeted with around 180 rockets and mortars from late Wednesday into Thursday. According to the Jerusalem Post, more than 200 rockets and mortars were launched since August 8, leaving 28 Israelis injured.

It was a show of force and defiance by Palestinian militants ahead of a meeting of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's security cabinet, where terms for a possible truce were likely to be on the agenda.

Israel carried out a major wave of strikes across the Gaza Strip overnight, leaving three Palestinians including pregnant mother Enas Khammash and her 18-month-old daughter Bayan dead in another severe flare-up of violence.

Israel initially said the two fighters were shooting at Israeli soldiers, but Hamas said they were involved in a training exercise that senior officials were attending. Hamas militants responded with a cross-border fusillade that sent Israelis scrambling for air raid shelters.

The Gaza Strip, home to almost two million Palestinians, has been reeling under a crippling Israeli blockade since 2007.

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While some local media outlets were reporting that Muhammad succumbed to his wounds early Thursday afternoon, the Gaza Ministry of Health has maintained that he is still in critical condition and being treated in the ICU.

Twenty-four of the slain protesters were minors, the ministry has said.

Israel responded by hitting the multi-storey building, first with small bombs apparently so that people would evacuate, then flattening it to the ground with a huge blast that shook the city and raised clouds of dust and smoke. Israel said the militants had fired on Israeli troops near the border, but Hamas said the militants were taking part in a drill. The military said it intercepted some 25 rockets, while most of the others landed in open areas.

"What I can say is that we targeted by definition only military targets that were clearly used by Hamas where there was an active presence of Hamas and nothing else", he told journalists.

He said Egypt would continue efforts to broker a long-term ceasefire.

UN Middle East envoy Nickolay Mladenov said the United Nations had engaged with Egypt in an "unprecedented effort" to avoid serious conflict, but cautioned that "the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas called on the global community to "immediately and urgently intervene".

The statement said the building was the headquarters for Hamas's internal security service, which served as the "operational arm" of the terror group.

The two were killed when an Israeli airstrike hit their home in the Jaafari area of central Gaza.

At least 165 Palestinians have killed by Israeli fire since March 30.

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