Published: Fri, August 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Israeli jets bomb Gaza Strip, Hamas rockets hit southern Israel

Israeli jets bomb Gaza Strip, Hamas rockets hit southern Israel

The Israel Air Force resumed air strikes against Gaza terrorists on Thursday evening in response to rocket fire aimed at southern Israel from the enclave since Wednesday.

Residents said the building had served mainly as a cultural centre.

"The strike was carried out in response to the rockets fired by Hamas at Israel, one of which was sacked at the city of Be'er Sheva, which is more than 24 miles from Gaza", the IDF Spokesperson added.

A plume of smoke rises from the remains of a building west of Gaza City that was targeted by the Israeli Air Force in response to a rocket attack that hit southern Israel earlier in the day on August 9, 2018.

The escalation, one of the most intense exchanges of fire since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas, came amid Egyptian-brokered talks in Cairo over a cease-fire between the two sides.

Israel just launched multiple airstrikes destroying al-Meshal Cultural center in Gaza - a public area that hosts cultural festivals and art events.

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.

Militants in the strip fired more than 180 rockets and mortars into Israel within 24 hours, the Israeli military said.

According to medical officials, the Israeli regime's airstrikes killed Enas Khammash, a pregnant Gazan woman, and her 18-month-old daughter Bayan, as well as another Palestinian.

"We've seen reports that 180 or so rocket attacks have taken place, shot from Gaza into Israel, and we fully support Israel's right to defend itself and to take actions to prevent provocations of that nature", Nauert said. The ministry said the militant and the civilians were killed in separate incidents.

"Even the most respected news sources bow Israeli pressure to present Israel's war crimes as passively as possible".

An Israeli man outside a house in Sderot damaged by shrapnel from a rocket fired from Gaza.

In nearby Israeli communities, residents were sent scrambling to bomb shelters.

"I do not think that any of the other players have any appetite to raise the tensions on their front".

For more than a decade Gaza has been controlled by Hamas under an Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has collapsed its economy, creating what the World Bank has described as a humanitarian crisis with shortages of water, electricity and medicine.

Neither Greenblatt, the foreign ministry, nor the army made any mention of the killing of Inas Khimash and her daughter Bayan.

Kamal Khamash, the brother-in-law of the pregnant mother who died alongside her child, told the Associated Press that the family was asleep when the projectile hit the house.

Thursday's events are the latest in a series of severe flare ups over the past few months in Gaza, leading many local and global officials to speculate that another large-scale Israeli offensive on the Palestinian territory could be imminent. A vehicle parked nearby was smashed.

The Israeli military said it only struck military targets, including production sites for weapons and tunnels.

"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 on Thursday morning. The military said that the Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted at least 30 rockets and the majority landed in open areas.

The flare-up came after officials on both sides had talked about potential progress in an effort by the United Nations and Egypt to broker a truce to end months of violence and alleviate deepening humanitarian and economic hardship in the Gaza Strip.

"If current escalation, however, is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".

Protests and clashes along the Gaza border began on March 30 and peaked with the May 14 move of the US Embassy for Israel to the disputed city of Jerusalem.

At least 165 Palestinians have killed by Israeli fire since then.

Nofal claimed that this is one of the reasons why "the Palestinian people have emerged victorious in all battles".

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