Israeli forces launch airstrikes on several sites in Gaza

aanval gaza 010716

GAZA (Ma’an) — Israeli forces in the early morning on Saturday launched airstrikes at several sites allegedly used by Palestinian political factions in the besieged Gaza Strip in response to a rocket fired from the small territory into an Israeli city Friday evening, Israeli and local sources said.Local sources said Israeli warplanes launched rockets at two sites reportedly used by al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Hamas movement, in the southern part of Gaza City, and targeted missiles at five other locations allegedly used by al-Qassam Brigades and al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad.Missiles struck a site in Beit Lahiya, a blacksmith workshop in the neighborhood of Zaytun, a site near the al-Irsal tower east of Jabaliya, empty land near an al-Quds Brigades’ site northwest of Beit Lahiya, and a shed near an agricultural college east of Beit Hanun in the northern Gaza Strip, according to locals. 

However, an Israeli army statement reported that the Israeli army targeted four locations in the northern and central Gaza Strip that were “components of Hamas’ operational infrastructure.”
No injuries were reported, despite heavy property damage.The statement said that the airstrikes on the besieged enclave were in response to a rocket launched from Gaza on Friday evening at southern Israel, striking the Israeli city of Sderot and causing damage to a building.Israel holds the Hamas movement responsible for all rockets fired from the Gaza Strip, although other Palestinian militant groups are active in the small Palestinian enclave.Israeli army spokesperson Peter Lerner said that the rocket attack in Sderot was a “horrific reminder of the intentions of terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip to target communities, people, men women and children.”
The Israeli airstrikes come some two months after an upturn in violence in the besieged enclave, as Israeli forces sustained airstrikes in Gaza for several consecutive days in May allegedly in response to cross-border mortar shelling and a rocket being fired from the Gaza Strip during Israeli operations inside the borders of the small territory to uncover Hamas-built tunnels.
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 / 02.07.2016)

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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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