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Israeli forces shell targets in northern Gaza after rocket falls in Sderot

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BETHLEHEM (MA’an) — Israeli forces fired artillery shells at targets in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, an hour after a rocket fired from the blockaded Gaza Strip landed on a road inside the Israeli city of Sderot Wednesday morning.

No injuries have been reported on either side.
 
Witnesses told Ma’an that at least one Israeli artillery shell landed in a military training ground for Palestinian fighters in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, without identifying the group or organization for which the training ground was used. However, Israeli media sites claimed the site was used by the Hamas movement.
 
Local sources in the besieged coastal enclave said Israeli reconnaissance planes were hovering over Beit Hanoun.
 
Earlier Monday morning at around 10:30 a.m., rocket sirens were sounded in Sderot and nearby communities bordering the Gaza Strip, with Israeli forces later searching the area and discovering the exploded rocket. An Israeli army spokesperson said that the road was damaged.
 
Israeli forces have since closed off the area, and a number of Israelis in Sderot were reportedly “treated for shock,” following the incident.
 
Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported later that the Salafist group Ahfad al-Sahaba claimed responsibility for the rocket fire.
The Israeli army has previously said they held the Hamas movement — the de facto rulers of the Gaza Strip — responsible for all attacks from the territory, although other Palestinian militant groups are active in the small coastal enclave.
It is the latest such incident to occur since Israeli forces carried out several airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip mid September after a rocket was launched from Gaza and exploded in an open area in southern Israel. No injuries were reported.
September’s airstrikes came as the second wave of Israeli shelling to strike the besieged Gaza Strip in the span of a month, while a few weeks earlier the Israeli army fired missiles into the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun that left at least five Palestinians injured in late August, after a rocket fired from Gaza fell inside Sderot, with no injuries or damage reported by the Israeli army.
On July 1, Israeli forces launched airstrikes at several sites allegedly used by Palestinian factions in the besieged coastal enclave in response to a rocket fired from Gaza which landed in Sderot.
In May, a Palestinian woman was killed during several consecutive days of sustained airstrikes and tank shelling from Israeli forces, allegedly in response to cross-border mortar shelling and a rocket being fired from the Gaza Strip.
The majority of the more than 1.8 million Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are sealed inside the coastal enclave due to a near-decade long military blockade imposed by Israel and upheld by Egypt on the southern border.
The crippling blockade was imposed following the victory of Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the subsequent 2007 clashes between Fatah and Hamas, which left Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip and Fatah in control of the occupied West Bank.
 
(Source / 05.10.2016)

Tags: #ICC4Israel

Video of the Week New Clashes Erupt Between Israeli Security Forces, Muslim Worshippers

Temple Mount temporarily closed to Jewish visitors after clashes with police




The Temple Mount was temporarily closed to Jewish visitors on Wednesday at the order of Jerusalem District Commander Yoram Halevy after Jews broke visitation rules at the holy site, police said. The Jewish visitors were expelled from the compound for bringing sacred books to the Mount and trying to pray there. After one of the individuals was cautioned, another took out a holy book, and the group was expelled. Meanwhile, renewed clashes erupted between protesters and Israeli security forces near the Lion's Gate in the Old City, where police used stun grenades against the demonstrators. A regular dynamic has developed involving clashes between Palestinians and Israel Police over the past several days near the Lion's Gate. Dozens of Palestinians are present at the site on a regular basis, urging devotion to the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount and condemning Israel. During Muslim prayer times, particularly the midday and nighttime prayers, hundreds and sometimes even thousands have been gathering there.

There have been outbreaks of violence during these periods, including stone-throwing or physical confrontations with the police. In most of these incidents, the police have been using stun grenades and sponge-tipped bullets to disperse the crowds. In a number of cases, journalists in the area have also suffered violence at the hands of the police. On Tuesday, Hassan Shaalan, a reporter for the Ynet news website, was struck by a policeman even after he identified himself as a member of the press. A group of Jerusalem-based journalists released a statement of condemnation over the incident and called on the police to permit reporters to do their jobs. The Jerusalem Police responded: "This involved an incident that took place in the course of violent disturbances of the peace that occurred in Jerusalem while the police were acting to remove the demonstrators from the street after some of them refused to vacate. The forces working on the scene are under constant threat to their lives. http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.802141

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