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Israeli forces launch fresh airstrikes on Gaza

Tuesday November 13, 2012 07:42:01 PM, IINA

Gaza City: The Israeli air force Tuesday launched fresh raids on targets in the Gaza Strip one day after Palestinian armed groups in the territory expressed their willingness for a ceasefire.

Three air raids hit an uninhabited area to the west of Gaza City today morning, without causing any casualties, Palestinian security sources and witnesses said.

 

The Israeli targets included a training camp of the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigade, the military wing of the Palestinian movement Hamas, the sources said.

 

An Israeli army spokesman said the planes attacked an arms dump and two rocket launch sites.

 

The air raids came hours after Gaza fighters on Monday fired six rockets at southern Israel. Monday's rocket fire was claimed by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Resistance Committees.

The main Palestinian fighter groups in the Gaza Strip said on Monday that they are ready for a ceasefire if Israel "stops its aggression" against the territory.

 

"The Islamic and nationalist movement confirms that the response of the resistance depends on whether the Zionist aggression against our people is continued," they said in a statement read out at a news conference in Gaza City.

 

The offer was made after fighters fired more rockets at southern Israel, wounding eight people, in retaliation for the killing of six Palestinians on Saturday.

 

On Sunday night, Israel carried out air strikes in northern and southern Gaza, and Palestinians began launching rockets into Israel from around 7:30am local time on Monday morning.

Israel's top military officials were said to be weighing whether to launch a more serious response to the violence, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that efforts to stamp out rocket fire would intensify.

 

"These are very important days ... in light of the ongoing activity against Hamas and terror organisations in Gaza, which is likely to intensify and expand," he said, quoted by his office.

 

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, touring southern Israel with foreign diplomats, warned that "the world must understand that Israel has the complete right and the obligation to protect its citizens".

 

"We shall not sit with our arms folded in the face of repeated, almost daily, attacks on our citizens," he said adding, "We shall act to stop it."

 

US ambassador Dan Shapiro, writing on Facebook, has said "the United States supports Israel's right to defend itself and its citizens from these attacks."

 

In light of the violence, European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Monday urged both sides to "refrain from exacerbating the situation."






 





 


 

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