First Published: 2012-11-13

 

Gaza militants, Israel trade fire: Is another war looming?

 

Israel launches three air strikes on Gaza; militants fire rocket into southern Israel, hours after ceasefire talk.

 

Middle East Online

Truce, violence, then another truce

JERUSALEM - Israel launched three air strikes on the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, and militants fired a rocket into southern Israel, hours after Gaza groups said they were ready for a ceasefire with Israel.

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

In a statement, the Israeli army said the strikes targeted a weapons facility and two rocket launch sites.

The raids came after renewed rocket fire on Monday, with militants firing at least 15 missiles into Israel, the army said, adding another four were intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

On Tuesday morning, an additional rocket was fired, an army spokeswoman said, with Israeli media reporting it was a Grad missile that landed near the town of Ashdod, south of Tel Aviv.

Despite the continued fire, the latest rocket fire represented a significant drop from the peak of a flare-up between Saturday and Sunday night.

Dozens of rockets were fired into southern Israel during that period, injuring four, with Israel carrying out air strikes, shelling and artillery fire that left six Palestinians dead by Sunday morning, four civilians and two militants.

On Monday, Palestinian health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said a seventh Palestinian, 20-year-old Mohammed Ziad, had died of wounds sustained on Saturday during Israeli shelling.

After a day of bellicose rhetoric from Israeli leaders, officials sounded a slightly more cautious tone on Tuesday.

"I don't think it will be necessary to enter the Gaza Strip," former military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told Israeli military radio.

"The army has at its disposal a series of measures that it has not yet used, it can raise the level of its response without resorting to a ground operation."

And on Monday night, the main Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, said they were ready for a ceasefire if Israel "stops its aggression" against the territory.

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

The statement came after Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak warned on Monday 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.

The latest flare-up, the second in less than a month, began Saturday evening, when militants fired an anti-tank missile at an army jeep, injuring four soldiers.

The Israeli military hit back, killing a total of seven Palestinians, and wounding more than 30.

The violence, which comes amid an Israeli election campaign, has raised the spectre of a broader Israeli military campaign similar to its 22-day Operation Cast Lead, launched in December 2008.

That campaign claimed the lives of 1,400 Palestinians -- half of them civilians -- and 13 Israelis, 10 of them soldiers.

 

Tunisia goes for democracy to counter schemes of Ennahda and Marzouki

Biden: You cannot think free where you cannot challenge orthodoxy

Does Abbas have enough political influence to stop violence in Jerusalem?

IS launch major attack on Ramadi

Paypal teams up AttijariWafa bank with to boost Morocco exports

UN begins sending winter aid to Iraq

Turkey launches all-out war against bonzai drug

Turkey to build bridge across Dardanelles to ease traffic

Turkey offers military assistance to Iraq

Bomb hits police post near Helwan University in Egypt

UN demands staff member release in South Sudan

US envoy: IS ‘impaled itself’ on Kobane

Iran sees ‘no more room’ for talks on design of Arak reactor

Morocco King and Biden discuss ‘compelling alternative’ to dissuade potential jihadists

In response to Amnesty report: UAE remains committed to protection of human rights

World blacklists Ansar al-Sharia group in Libya

Dempsey places heavy responsibility on Iraq fractured army

Ladies first at Global Entrepreneurship Summit

Barbarism of suicide bombers rocks Arbil in fresh bloody attack

Egypt gives its blessing to Qatar return to Arab fold

France identifies second citizen in IS execution video

Israel returns to policy of punitive house demolitions

France reveals worrying numbers: More than 1000 jihadist nationals in Syria

Without Khamenei support, Rouhani risks much in Iran nuclear gamble

Saudi King urges Egypt to support Qatar return to Arab fold

Turkey may go ahead with redevelopment of Gezi Park

Suicide bomber blows up car in Iraqi Kurdish capital

Iraq government transfers $500 million to Kurdish region

Syria economy back to 1980s size

Netanyahu: Israel at the height of ongoing terror attack

Spanish lawmakers urge Madrid to recognise Palestine

Is GCC spat over Qatar finally over?

Turkey fears new wave of Syria refugees if Aleppo falls

Saudi Arabia expands buffer zone with Iraq

Spain parliament takes step towards recognising Palestine

Deadliest Jerusalem attack in years raises fears of escalation

Syria Kurds make new gains in heart of Kobane

Ben Ali son-in-law in Tunisia to challenge jail sentence

Iran parliament rejects Rouhani's science minister pick

Iran nuclear deal in doubt amid differences on key issues

Jordan queen: our silence is the greatest gift for IS

Iran nuclear talks enter final round in Vienna

35.8 million people trapped in modern-day slavery

Tunisia holds first multi-candidate presidential poll

Four Israelis killed in Jerusalem synagogue attack