Israeli warplanes hit Gaza, wounding 12 Palestinians / PHOTO

Israeli warplanes struck on the Gaza Strip, wounding at least 12 Palestinians, Hamas security officials and witnesses said.

Israeli warplanes hit Gaza, wounding 12 Palestinians / PHOTO

Israeli warplanes struck on the Gaza Strip on Friday night, wounding at least 12 Palestinians, Hamas security officials and witnesses said.

Locals said Israeli F16s launched three attacks near the ruins of the Gaza airport, Maan news agency said.

The attack came after the a rocket which was fired by unknown Gazan group, killing a Thai worker. 

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The Israeli military confirmed several sites were hit, suspected tunnels dug and the airport.

Gazas economy is dependent on the tunnels, increasingly under attack by both Israeli and Egyptian forces. Tens have been killed in the underground system over the past months, and dozens more over the nearly three years of Gaza siege. The industry remains, however, the only growing work opportunity in Gaza.

Israeli warplanes were still flying over the Gaza Strip at press time.

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Ruling Hamas, who took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, had been urging other militant groups not to strike Israel, voicing concern about possible Israeli retaliation.

A previously unknown group, Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for the rocket fire at Israel, as well as the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a wing of the mainstream Fatah movement.

Israel launched on Dec. 27 a massive offensive in Gaza, killing more than 1434 Palestinians, a third of them children, and wounded at least 5300.

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In its land, sea and ar offensive, Israel targeted hospitals, schools, mosques and government buildings and destroyed infrastructure system in Gaza, lefting Palestinians without electricity, gas and power.

Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom had threatened on Thursday to make a strong response to what was the first deadly rocket fire since its war in Gaza Strip.

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Israel also sent a letter of complaint to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who is due to visit Israel at the weekend, and the U.N. Security Council.

The latest air strikes took place the day of a meeting of Quartet Middle East power mediators in Moscow and just before a planned visit by U.S. envoy George Mitchell, who is seeking to relaunch moribund peace talks in the region.

The bombing was the second aerial attack in less than 24 hours. Early on Friday morning, Israel’s air force bombed six targets across the strip, including open areas near Khan Younis, a tunnel along the Gaza-Egypt border, and a factory.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Mart 2010, 19:26
YORUM EKLE