Israeli airstrikes in Gaza in response to rocket fire from the Strip
Jerusalem (AsiaNews / Agencies) - For the second time in less than ten days the Israeli air force launched an air strike against militant targets in the Gaza Strip. The raid took place in the early hours of today and, according to Israeli military sources, has "successfully hit" at least three "infrastructure" used by "terrorists" as training camps. Again, the Israeli offensive was sparked after two rockets were launched yesterday afternoon from the Strip into southern Israel.
Local witnesses and medical sources report that, so far, there are no reports of casualties or injuries. According to Israeli military sources two training camps belonging to Hamas were hit; the third, however, seems to be used by a small Palestinian group linked to international Islamic jihad.
The rockets fired from Gaza landed near Ashkelon and Netivot, two towns in southern Israel, and are reported to have caused no harm to civilians. Earlier anti-missiles warning sirens sounded throughout the area.
The Israeli Minister of Defense Moshe Yaalon pointed the finger at Hamas, considered responsible for the launch of missiles on its territory "even if those doing the shooting are rogue gangs from global jihadi groups trying to challenge Hamas by shooting at us”.
The exchange of fire between Israel and militants in Gaza has broken for the second time the fragile truce between the parties in force since the end of August, which marked the end of the war in the Gaza Strip. Called "Operation Margin Protecter”, the campaign launched by Israel in the Gaza Strip to stop the rocket attacks on its territory began on July 8, 2014 and ended August 26, 2014.
The violence caused 2,200 casualties among the Palestinians (including 1,500 civilians) and 73 deaths on the Israeli side, 67 of them among the soldiers. At least 11 thousand people were wounded, most of them on the Palestinian front, 70% of which were civilians. Over 500 children died in the conflict.
A Salafist group has posted a message on twitter claiming responsibility for the rocket. The group is the so-called movement of Omar Brigades, who had acted to avenge the killing by Hamas of an Islamic State militant in Gaza on 2 June.
The Palestinian agency Maan reported that the recent violence is in conjunction with a strengthening of control measures and a crackdown by Hamas in the Gaza Strip to stop militants belonging to "Islamic terrorist groups" operating in Gaza. The agency confirmed that, so far, there is little information about the self-styled group Omar Brigades and its "potential influence" within the Palestinian territory.