Israeli jets strike southern Gaza

4 02 2010

Inspecting damage from the strike

Original Source Published yesterday (updated) 04/02/2010 09:38

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Israeli warplanes carried out airstrikes on at least two targets in the southern Gaza Strip overnight, witnesses said and the Israeli military confirmed.

Three Palestinians were reportedly wounded and three others reported missing shortly after six separate strikes, which targeted the Yasser Arafat International Airport in Dahaniya and a tunnel along the Gaza-Egypt border.

Israeli forces launched the strikes “in response for the attempted naval attacks in southern Israel and recent rocket attacks,” an Israeli military spokesman said in a statement over the phone.

The official added that the army confirmed direct hits on both targets, which he alleged included a tunnel used for smuggling weapons and a “terror tunnel” on the border meant for carrying out attacks in Israel.

“The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization responsible for maintaining the calm in the communities in southern Israel and will respond to any attempts to disrupt the calm,” the spokesman told Ma’an.

A homemade projectile landed in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel on Tuesday afternoon, Israeli media reported. Residents heard a loud blast at around 3pm and a Color Red siren was sounded, the Hebrew-language daily daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported. No damage or injuries were reported.

On Monday, two explosive devices were reportedly found on separate beaches in southern Israel. Israeli security sources linked the discoveries to an announcement by a coalition of Palestinian operatives who told Ma’an they launched eight shells at the port of Ashkelon between 29-30 January.

That attack was said to be in response to the assassinations of three prominent Fatah operatives in Nablus in late December, which Israel said was in retaliation for the shooting death of a West Bank settler leader.

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