Israel shelled the Gaza Strip on Thursday, a day after an operation in the occupied West Bank that killed eleven Palestinians, including a minor and six militants. He did so after reports that Palestinian fighters fired six rockets from that area towards the south of his country.
“A few moments ago, fighter planes attacked a weapons manufacturing facility belonging to the terrorist organization Hamas, located in the center of the Gaza Strip” as well as “a military complex in the north of the Strip” belonging to the same organization, an Israeli military spokesman said in a statement.
That complex, also used as a naval weapons depot, is located next to a mosque, a medical center, a school, a hotel and a police station, added the same source, considering that Hamas, the Islamist organization that governs de facto in Gaza since 2007, “deliberately siting its (war) assets in the heart of civilian areas”.
These bombings, which according to Israeli authorities “significantly damaged the capabilities” of Hamas, were carried out in response to the six rockets fired hours earlier from the enclaveand which has launched anti-aircraft alarms in the Israeli cities of Ashkelon, Sderot and in the area surrounding the Strip.
“Five of the rockets were intercepted from the air defense system and a rocket fell in an uninhabited area,” the army spokesman said. The targets were the cities of Ashkelon and Sederot.
So far, no Palestinian militia has claimed responsibility for the rocket fire and no casualties have been reported on either side, though they appear to have been executed in retaliation for Wednesday’s operation in Nablus, which killed 11 Palestinians, including a minor, and left another hundred wounded by Israeli army gunfire, in one of the most violent days in recent years in the area.
According to Israeli forces, their operation was “targeted arrest suspects involved in attacks” against the Israelis, who were also already planning new attacks.
Israeli troops killed the three Palestinians they were looking for: Hossam Aslim, Muhamad Fatah and Walid Dahil.
Among the victims of the raid, which led to violent riots and shootings in central Nablus, are six militants linked to local armed groups, as well as civilians.
Such operations have become almost daily since the end of March last year, when Israel launched the so-called “Breaking the Wave” operation in response to a series of deadly attacks by Palestinians or Israeli Arabs.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict lives on a new peak of violencewhich alone has resulted in 11 Israeli deaths so far this year and cost the lives of 60 Palestinians, the “highest” number in the occupied territories since 2000, according to the PNA’s health ministry.
With information from agencies.
Mary Ortiz is a seasoned journalist with a passion for world events. As a writer for News Rebeat, she brings a fresh perspective to the latest global happenings and provides in-depth coverage that offers a deeper understanding of the world around us.