Israel strikes at Hamas in Gaza, Quartet warns of “perpetual conflict”
Rocket hits kindergarten in Sderot. Israeli planes hit targets in Gaza and Beit Lahia. No one was reported killed or wounded. Extremist violence, settlements and Palestinians divisions threaten peace hopes.
Jerusalem (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Israeli planes struck four sites in Gaza early Saturday in response to a rocket attack that hit a kindergarten in the Israeli border town of Sderot. No one was injured in either.
Israeli military said its airstrikes targeted a metal workshop, two Hamas positions and an Islamic Jihad training ground.
Two locations were in Gaza; the other two, in Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the strip. No one was killed or wounded; only damage to buildings was reported.
So far no one has claimed responsibility for the rocket attack or other action in the Gaza Strip.
The latest violence tops a violent week that includes four Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilian targets that left two people dead.
Since last October, violent incidents in Israel and the Palestinian territories followed provocations by ultra-Orthodox Jews praying at Temple Mount, as part of what came to be known as the knife intifada.
The death tool so far includes 209 Palestinians, 35 Israelis, two Americans, a Sudanese and one Eritrean.
A recent report by the Quartet, a foursome (United States, United Nations, European Union and Russia) set up in 2002 to promote peace and Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, warned of a “perpetual conflict”.
In a report released yesterday, the group said that ongoing violence, Israeli settlement-building and Palestinian divisions were undermining peace hopes.
About 570,000 Israelis live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The settlements are considered illegal under international law. Israel disputes this and continues an expansionist settlement policy.