World Gaza Rocket Attacks on Israel Resume, Risking Wider Conflict
NSW looks to Israel's water management
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Militants in Gaza fired rockets into Israel for the second straight day, raising the risk of a wider conflict as Israel continued its own strikes on the second-largest armed group operating in the Palestinian enclave.
Israel’s foreign ministry said the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad has fired more than 360 rockets from the Gaza Strip, threatening Israel’s attempts to reach a long-term cease-fire with the Hamas group that controls the area.
The attacks began Tuesday morning, after Israel’s military killed Islamic Jihad’s senior leader, Baha Abu Al-Ata, in a targeted airstrike. Israeli officials said Islamic Jihad opposed the cease-fire initiative.
Scores of rockets rain from Gaza after Israel kills Islamic Jihad chief
Israel’s military killed a commander of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in a strike on his home in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, triggering exchanges of fire and fears of a severe escalation in violence. The targeted strike led to barrages of retaliatory rocket fire into Israel followed by Israeli air raids, and Gaza’s health ministry reported five people killed and 30 wounded in the Palestinian enclave. require(["inlineoutstreamAd", "c.
The latest escalation—the largest rocket attack since May, when Islamic Jihad and Hamas fired more than 600 projectiles into Israel over two days—is also complicating talks to form a new coalition government in Israel between centrist politicians and smaller Arab parties after two inconclusive elections this year.
A total of 24 people in Gaza have been killed since the strikes began on Tuesday, Gaza’s Health Ministry said. A number of those killed appear to be Islamic Jihad militants, according to statements released by the group.
More than 73 Palestinians have been injured, the ministry said. Israel said it has been targeting Islamic Jihad militants who are seen preparing to fire rockets at Israel.
Medical authorities in Israel have treated at least 63 people, including an 8-year-old girl who lost consciousness while fleeing from a rocket on Tuesday and who remains in critical condition, Israeli medical authorities said.
Scores of rockets rain from Gaza after Israel kills Islamic Jihad chief
Israel’s military killed a commander of the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in a strike on his home in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, triggering exchanges of fire and fears of a severe escalation in violence. The targeted strike led to barrages of retaliatory rocket fire into Israel followed by Israeli air raids, and Gaza’s health ministry reported five people killed and 30 wounded in the Palestinian enclave.Israel said it targeted Islamic Jihad militant sites as well as rocket-launching squads in the raids.
Some people were injured as they ran to bomb shelters, while the impact of rockets injured three, the officials said. The Trump administration condemned the attack on Tuesday.
As of Wednesday, Israel’s military said Hamas hadn’t joined forces with the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad, a prospect that would deepen the conflict.
Israel’s military has hit a wide range of Islamic Jihad targets since Tuesday, including one of its headquarters and a rocket-manufacturing facility, carrying out further strikes Wednesday morning.
Israel said it killed Islamic Jihad’s Mr. Abu Al-Ata because he had planned the majority of attacks in recent months and had jeopardized efforts to reach a cease-fire with Hamas. Israel also said he had been planning further imminent attacks.
Egypt is currently leading negotiations for a cease-fire between Israel and Islamic Jihad, a spokesman for the Gaza-based group said. Egypt and the United Nations have helped mediate a number of cease-fires between Israel and Gaza militant groups in the past.
'Unacceptable': NZ govt condemns Gaza rocket attacks on Israel
"New Zealand urges all parties on the ground to avoid confrontation and exercise maximum restraint."On Tuesday (local time), an Israeli airstrike killed Baha Abu al-Ata, a senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander in Gaza. His wife was also killed.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who authorized Mr. Abu Al-Ata’s killing, on Wednesday said his country isn’t interested in escalation but would do everything to defend itself.
Mr. Netanyahu also threatened more targeted killings in the Gaza Strip.
“There is a genuine change here in the equation because the terrorist leaders and the last of their militants now know that we can reach them in their hiding places with surgical precision and take action against them,” Mr. Netanyahu said.
The prospect of a broader conflict, however, is likely to weigh on talks to form a new coalition government in Israel.
Mr. Netanyahu’s main rival, former military chief Benny Gantz, who said he supported the strike against Mr. Abu Al-Ata, had appeared to be headed toward forming a minority government that would partially rely on the support of Israel’s Arab parties. That now seems less likely, given that officials from the Joint List, a coalition of Arab parties, have said they oppose the operations in Gaza.
Speaking in Sderot, an Israeli town near Gaza, Mr. Gantz said he wouldn’t allow the current escalation to affect his political calculations. He also said Israel should continue hitting militants in Gaza until they are strongly deterred from attacking Israel in the long-term.
Speaking in Israel’s parliament on Wednesday, Mr. Netanyahu singled out and lambasted Arab lawmakers who once called him and other Israeli military officials “war criminals” over Israel’s previous war in Gaza in 2014.
Israel’s military on Wednesday said it expected Islamic Jihad to continue firing rockets at the country’s south. Its Iron Dome defense system has fended off dozens of attacks, with an interception rate of more than 90%, it added.
Israel’s military said it also has bolstered forces near the Gaza border as it suspects Islamic Jihad militants might try to infiltrate the country.
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