Sunday, 16 December, 2018

Israel strikes Gaza, closes both border crossings after rocket attack

Rocket fired into Israel from Gaza: Israeli army Israeli officials ramp up calls for a 'strong blow' against Gaza
Andrew Cummings | 18 October, 2018, 00:45

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a house in the largest city in southern Israel early on Wednesday, prompting Israeli air strikes that killed a militant in the Palestinian enclave.

Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman ordered the closure of both of Israel's border crossings with Gaza following the rocket attack.

In this image made from video, police inspect the damage to a building from a rocket, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018, in Beersheba, Israel.

Meanwhile, an Islamic Jihad leader, Khader Habib, told CNN that the militant group remains committed to the truce between Gaza and Israel but added that if strikes continue in Gaza that "the resistance will certainly not stand idly by". The renewed border violence is part of an effort by Hamas to test Israel's will and provoke a violent response.

Hamas ramped up this past week its months-long violent demonstrations along the Gaza border as part of new plans to "kidnap soldiers so that it will have a bargaining chip to use against Israel for speeding up the removal of the blockade", according to an investigation into new ways Hamas is probing Israel's defenses provided by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, or JCPA, a security research institute.

A mother and her three children were safe because they had gone to the bomb shelter when the warning sirens sounded. The Gaza Health Ministry said a 25-year-old militant was killed inside one of the posts targeted.

The rocket attack comes as an Egyptian delegation arrived in Gaza on Tuesday led by Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, an intelligence official in charge of the Palestinian file.

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The rocket attack on Beersheba was the first in months and the first that hit an Israeli home there since the 2014 summer war between Israel and Gaza's militant Hamas rulers.

Palestinians have been protesting along the border since March 30, demanding an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza and the right to return to lands that Palestinians fled or were driven from upon Israel's founding in 1948.

Protesters threw flaming tires over the fence Monday, while fishing boats hoisted Palestinian flags.

In response, Israel halted Qatari-donated fuel shipments to Gaza's power plant and warned that if the violence didn't stop there would be series consequences.

Earlier, Conricus told CBN News that Hamas is trying to involve the worldwide community by getting Israel to kill Palestinians.

The situation in southern Israel further deteriorated last Friday when an estimated 15,000 Palestinian Arabs participated in an orgy of violence along the border with Israel, while Hamas used the chaos to launch another attempt to infiltrate the Jewish state and to kidnap IDF soldiers. Egypt also restricts movement in and out of Gaza on its border. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened "very painful blows", saying Israel was very close to waging a "different kind of activity".

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