Tag Archives: Rocket

Israel reopens Gaza crossings closed for days after rocket strike: official

Israel reopens Gaza crossings closed for days after rocket strike: officialIsrael reopened its crossings with the Gaza Strip on Sunday after having kept them closed for nearly a week following a rare long-distance rocket strike from the Palestinian enclave, an official said. The Erez crossing for people and the Kerem Shalom crossing for goods reopened Sunday morning, a spokeswoman for COGAT, the defence ministry unit that oversees the crossings, told AFP. The reopening comes after tens of thousands of Palestinians protested along the Gaza border with Israel on Saturday, to mark the one-year anniversary since demonstrations and clashes erupted there.



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Israel reopens Gaza crossings closed for days after rocket strike

Israel reopens Gaza crossings closed for days after rocket strikeIsrael reopened its crossings with the blockaded Gaza Strip on Sunday after having kept them closed for nearly a week following a rare long-distance rocket strike from the Palestinian enclave, an official said. Hamas announced an Egyptian-brokered truce that ended the exchange of fire. The reopening also comes after tens of thousands of Palestinians protested along the Gaza border with Israel on Saturday, marking the one-year anniversary since demonstrations and clashes erupted there.



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New Gaza rocket threatens truce after Netanyahu warning

New Gaza rocket threatens truce after Netanyahu warningPalestinian militants fired a rocket at Israel late Tuesday prompting further retaliation strikes from the Israeli army, with the late-night exchanges threatening claims of a truce. It comes hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was prepared for further military action in Gaza, at a highly sensitive time ahead of Israel’s April 9 elections. The latest severe flare-up began early Monday when a rare long-distance rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit a house north of Tel Aviv, wounding seven Israelis.



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UPDATE 1-Israel says 6 hurt near Tel Aviv in apparent Gaza rocket attack

UPDATE 1-Israel says 6 hurt near Tel Aviv in apparent Gaza rocket attackSirens sounded in central Israel and police and medics said a house was on fire and six people were wounded on Monday after a suspected rocket attack from the Gaza Strip. The early morning incident in Mishmeret, an agricultural town north of Tel Aviv, came at a time of high tension ahead of the anniversary of Gaza border protests and an April 9 election campaign in Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is seeking a fifth term in next month’s ballot, was in Washington on Monday and due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump.



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Israeli military bombs Gaza after rocket strike

Israeli military bombs Gaza after rocket strike* Five wounded as Israel strikes ‘Hamas terror targets’ * Hamas says Egypt has helped arrange a ceasefireFire and smoke billow above buildings in Gaza City during Israeli strikes. Photograph: Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty ImagesIsraeli forces and Hamas exchanged rocket fire on Monday night amid fears of a new conflict in Gaza.Israeli forces carried out strikes against what they called “Hamas terror targets” across the Gaza Strip, after an earlier rocket attack that destroyed a family home and wounded seven people in a neighbourhood north of Tel Aviv. The army also said it was reinforcing troops along the Gaza border and calling up reserves.The targets of the Israeli raids on Gaza included the office of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and a five-storey building in central Gaza City it said was a Hamas interior security office.Militants in Gaza then fired at least 10 rockets towards the southern Israeli town of Sderot, but no Israeli casualties were reported as a result of that attack.At 10pm on Monday, Hamas announced that a cease-fire had been brokered by Egyptian mediators. But shortly after, renewed rocket fire could be heard in Gaza, setting off air-raid sirens in southern Israel. Hamas’s leadership went into hiding after the first rocket attack, anticipating the Israeli response. The Gaza health ministry said five people were wounded by the airstrikes.The fighting broke out while the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was in Washington to meeting Donald Trump. After receiving emphatic backing from Trump at the White House, Netanyahu announced he was cutting short his US trip to take command of operations.“Israel will not tolerate this. I will not tolerate it,” Netanyahu said during his White House appearance. “As we speak, Israel is responding forcefully to this wanton aggression.”Trump described the Hamas rocket attack as “horrific” and added: “The US recognises Israel’s absolute right to defend itself.”The clashes come at the height of a tight election before the Israeli vote on 9 April. Hamas is also under intense political pressure, with Gaza’s economy squeezed by an Israeli and Egyptian embargo, and sanctions imposed by the Palestinian Authority on the West Bank.Hamas and Israel have fought three conflicts in the past decade, and battled in dozens of minor flare-ups since the last one in 2014. With little to show for any previous violence, neither side has expressed interest in full-fledged war.However, the Monday morning missile strike obliterated the home of a British-Israeli family and comes during a period of heightened tension in Israel and the Palestinian territories. With a general election two weeks away, Netanyahu is under pressure from political opponents to hit back hard against militants, even as he has been counselled by military advisers of the futility of a fresh conflict.With opinion polls showing Netanyahu running neck and neck with his main opponent, Benny Gantz, the Israeli leader has sought to dismiss him as a “leftist” who is weak on security issues.Separately, this weekend marks the anniversary of a year-long protest movement along Israel’s frontier that its troops have responded to with lethal force, killing more than 180 people and shooting 6,000 others. Hamas, which backs the rallies, is expected to call for thousands to attend, while Israel has said it will continue its live fire policy against what it calls “violent riots”.Those protests were intended, in part, to pressure Israel and Egypt to lighten a punishing decade-long blockade on the 140 sq mile territory that has led to a humanitarian crisis and virtually imprisoned much of the population. But neither Israel nor Egypt have significantly changed their policy.Meanwhile, Hamas faces its own internal dissent against recent tax hikes and dire living conditions, and has forcefully suppressed local demonstrations during the past week.An Israeli military spokesperson said Monday’s rocket had a range of 75 miles, making it one of the farthest strikes ever carried out by militants in Gaza.“I have a simple message for Israel’s enemies,” Netanyahu said. “We will do whatever we must to to defend our people, and defend our state. After this meeting I will return home ahead of schedule, to lead the people of Israel, and the soldiers of Israel.”As a result of Netanyahu’s early return home, a dinner with Trump was cancelled as well as Netanyahu’s scheduled address to Aipac, the pro-Israel US lobby group.In an apparent attempt to de-escalate the situation, a Hamas official, speaking to the Agence France-Presse news agency on condition of anonymity, denied the group was behind the rocket launch, and even suggested the projectile was automatically fired by mistake following “bad weather”.The prime minister’s visit to Washington had been seen as an attempt to highlight his close and fruitful relationship with Trump before the election. Trump on Monday signed a proclamation formally recognising Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a plateau Israel captured from Syria in 1967. Netanyahu said it was a “truly a historic day”, that “translates our military victory into a diplomatic victory”. He said that the Golan was “invaluable to our defences” and claimed that Israel had taken the territory “in a just war of self-defence”. He added: “The Jewish people have roots in the Golan that go back thousands of years.”Trump said: “This was a long time in the making. It should have taken place many decades ago.”The Syrian foreign ministry called the US proclamation a “blatant aggression” on its own sovereignty and territorial integrity. The ministry said the US move represents the “highest level of contempt for international legitimacy”.



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Israel Launches Strikes Across Gaza After Day of Rocket Fire

Israel Launches Strikes Across Gaza After Day of Rocket FireIsrael moved troops closer to its southern border and declared closed military zones near Gaza. In Gaza, hospitals across the territory were put on an emergency footing. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in Washington for a speech and meetings with President Donald Trump, called the initial strike, which injured seven people in a village 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Gaza, a “criminal attack on the state of Israel” and vowed to “respond forcefully.” Netanyahu initially was expected to cut his visit to Washington short, though it wasn’t clear later if he would follow through on that.



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Netanyahu cuts short U.S. trip after rocket attack from Gaza

Netanyahu cuts short U.S. trip after rocket attack from GazaNetanyahu threatened a forceful response to the long-range strike amid accusations from opponents in a closely contested Israeli election, two weeks away, that he had been showing weakness in the face of security challenges from Gaza militants. Netanyahu, who arrived in Washington on Sunday for a four-day visit, said he would fly home right after meeting President Donald Trump at the White House, as planned, later on Monday. “This was a heinous attack on the State of Israel and we will respond strongly,” Netanyahu said in a video statement.



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The Latest: Israel hits Gaza Strip targets after rocket fire

The Latest: Israel hits Gaza Strip targets after rocket fireJERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (all times local):



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Israel strikes Hamas in Gaza after rocket attack injures British-Israeli family

Israel strikes Hamas in Gaza after rocket attack injures British-Israeli familyIsraeli warplanes carried out intense strikes against Hamas in Gaza on Monday night after a rocket attack wounded several members of a British-Israeli family, including two infants, and destroyed their house.  Israeli jets bombed the offices of Hamas’ leader and several other facilities in what a military spokesman said was just "the beginning” of a major operation against the Islamist militant group.   There were no immediate reports of casualties in Gaza but Hamas vowed to “retaliate immediately and forcefully”, raising fears that the two sides could be hurtling back towards a full-blown conflict.   Palestinian factions reportedly began firing rockets into southern Israel on Monday night as Israeli aircraft continued their raids in Gaza.  However, Hamas said late on Monday that Egypt had brokered a ceasefire to end the fighting. Hamas authorities said schools and government buildings would be open as usual on Tuesday.  Monday's escalation was sparked by a long-range rocket fired by Hamas from Gaza towards the town of Mishmeret in central Israel at around 5.20am Monday morning, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said. The rocket hit the home of Robert and Susan Wolf, originally from London, who had their children and grandchildren staying with them. The family were woken by rocket sirens and escaped moments before the house was struck.  “If we hadn’t got to the bomb shelter in time I would be burying all my family,” Mr Wolf said. “We would all have been dead if we didn’t do what we were supposed to do.”  Seven people were wounded in the blast, including his wife, who suffered a shrapnel wound to the head, and his six-month-old granddaughter who lightly injured. None of the injuries are life-threatening, Israeli authorities said.  The family’s two dogs were killed in the blast, neighbours said, while the home was almost completely destroyed.  The attack in Mishmeret came just a week after rockets were fired at Tel Aviv for the first time since 2014. Israel carried out a limited round of strikes in response. However, Monday’s attack was considered far more serious because it wounded Israeli civilians.   Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, was at the White House to watch Donald Trump sign an order formally recognising Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights “Israel is responding forcefully to this wanton aggression,” Mr Netanyahu said. “I have a simple message to Israel’s enemies: we will do whatever we must do to defend our people and defend our state.” Robert Wolf stands inside his house that was hit by a rocket in the village of Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv Credit: Amir Levy/Getty Images Mr Netanyahu cut short his trip to Washington to take charge of the crisis. The prime minister, who is up for re-election on April 9, is under pressure from political opponents to launch large-scale strikes. Israel’s military said it had bombed the Gaza City offices of Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of Hamas. The offices are believed to have been empty at the time.  Warplanes also destroyed buildings belonging to Hamas military intelligence branch and its internal security forces, the IDF said.   "We are just at the beginning," said General Ronen Manelis, an IDF spokesman. "A large attack is planned. I think that Hamas understands this is a significant strike following a serious incident, and ultimately, this is a price that Hamas has been due to pay for the past year."   The military wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad said in a joint statement that they intended to fight back against Israeli raids. “We will retaliate immediately and forcefully to every strike. The resistance can reach every Israeli target.”  At least one rocket was fired into Israel from Gaza while the airstrikes were unfolding, according to the IDF.  The group is under intense pressure within Gaza to raise living standards and deal with horrendous economic conditions in the strip, where unemployment is at around 50 per cent.  Anti-Hamas protesters took to the streets last week under the slogan “We Want To Live”. Hamas responded with a major crackdown and arrested dozens of people. Egypt and the UN have been trying to broker a long-term deal which would see Hamas promise to stop attacks on Israel in return for Israel lifting its crushing 12-year blockade on Gaza.  However, the negotiations have yielded few results and Hamas is believed to be trying to inject fresh urgency into the talks by firing rockets while at the same time avoiding a full-blown war.



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Gaza rocket strikes home in central Israel, 7 wounded

Gaza rocket strikes home in central Israel, 7 woundedKFAR SABA, Israel (AP) — An early morning rocket fired from the Gaza Strip demolished a house in central Israel on Monday, wounding seven people and prompting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cut short a trip to Washington. The military quickly mobilized troops and called up reserves, setting the stage for a potential major conflagration shortly before Israel's upcoming elections.



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