Israel launches strikes on Gaza


Palestinians gather around the wreckage of a motorcycle targeted by an Israeli aircraft in the town of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, 2012. One Palestinian was killed and nine others wounded, Palestinian medical sources told AFP.


Said Khatib

Israel said it conducted an air strike on Palestinian militants on Monday in a response to rockets fired by Hamas and the group Palestinian Islamic Jihad, AFP reported.

On Sunday Israel wounded two suspected militants and nine other people, including six children. Abdullah Maqawi, one of the suspected militants, died of his wounds on Monday, the BBC reported.

The Israeli military said: "In response to this morning's rocket barrage at southern Israeli communities, the [Israel Defense Forces] targeted Hamas terror activity sites and terrorist squads responsible for the rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel. The Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip."

Hamas also issued a statement, saying: "In response to wounding civilians during the last strike in Rafah, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades and al-Quds Brigades fired a number of rockets against enemy military positions."

Al-Quds is an armed wing of the Islamist organization Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Ilan Yosef of Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak, near the Gaza border, told Israeli radio the attack on Gaza “was a very powerful barrage. The goat pen in the (children’s) petting corner was severely hit and a vet is treating the animals still alive and dealing with those that aren’t.”

The BBC's Jon Donnison in Gaza City said it was "unusual for Hamas to acknowledge involvement in attacks against Israel."

Hamas has in the past, according to the BBC, "tried to rein in rocket fire from smaller groups."