07/08/2014, 00.00
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Dozens of air raids on Gaza in response to Hamas rockets

by Joshua Lapide
Many rockets were intercepted; the city of Beersheva hit. In Gaza, 12 people were injured, including women and children. The pain and the "shame" of Shimon Peres for the killing of Palestinian youth by Jewish extremists. Condolences from the family of the Israeli teenager killed along with two others. New problems for the Palestinian national unity government.

Jerusalem (AsiaNews) - Israeli planes launched dozens of air raids on the Gaza Strip overnight, after a series of rocket attacks on towns in southern Israel, claimed by Hamas.

The Israeli army said that at least 40 rockets launched from Gaza on Ashadod and Netivot were intercepted. About 16 hit the city of Beersheva.

Hospital officials in Gaza said that at least 12 Palestinians, including women and children, were injured during the raid. Some homes - belonging to militants, according to Israel - have been destroyed. In June, about 12 people have been killed in Gaza because of the air raids.

Hamas says it is launching rockets in response to "Zionist aggression" that has killed five militants in recent days. Israel defends itself by saying that those five were killed when explosives they were handling exploded.

The renewed fighting has drawn attention from what is happening on the ground in Jerusalem, where six young Jewish extremists kidnapped Khdair Abu Mohammed, a 16 year old Palestinian and burned him alive, in what is considered a revenge attack for the kidnapping and murder of three young Israelis in the West Bank. The three, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yfrah were hitchhiking near the settlement of Gush Etzion and were abducted in mid-June. Their bodies were found last week.

The killing of Palestinian youth has provoked outrage and shame in Israel. The outgoing president Shimon Peres, phoned the father of the murdered youth and said "I am ashamed on behalf of my nation and grieve with you" .

Two days ago, the uncle of one of the murdered Israeli youths, Yishai Fraenkel, spoke by phone with the father of the young Palestinian expressing his condolences, adding that he was horrified to learn that the killers of Abu Khdair are young Jews.

Hamas claims of responsibility for the attacks are likely to have consequences for the Palestinian national unity government, which had closed the division between Fatah and Hamas, which lasted seven years. Launched last month, the government was supposed to be founded on the precept of non-violence and was immediately criticized by the Israeli government as a purely political move.


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