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.

 

Bloodshed in Gaza surges amid no truce

Major western powers call for Libya ceasefire

UN warns buying oil from terrorists could lead to sanctions

Syria rebels advance towards Hama military airport

Emirates airline to avoid flying over Iraq

Italian fire-fighting planes to come to Libya rescue

US-Israeli ties sink to new depths over Gaza war

Air Algerie crash black boxes sent to France

Warning of Tripoli catastrophe after huge oil depot blaze

US, UN call for immediate Gaza ceasefire

Egypt army kills 14 jihadists in restive Sinai Peninsula

Calls for temporary Gaza ceasefire fall on deaf ears

Yemen army foils new Qaeda attempt to seize military posts

Investigators need ‘few days’ to probe cause of Algeria plane crash

Tunisia army suffers more losses in open war with terrorism

Jihadists advance amid escalation in Syria anti-regime offensive

Iraq Shiite militia takes bloody revenge against ‘Islamic State’ in Baquba

Fierce clashes kill at least 38 people in Benghazi

Israel resumes devastating military assault on Gaza

Thousands face famine as food security situation worsens in Somalia

Death toll in Gaza climbs as fragile ceasefire reveals destruction

Egypt summons Turkey charge d'affaires for second time in one week

‘Islamic State’ jihadists dynamite Shiite shrine in Mosul

US evacuates embassy staff in Libya over ‘real risk’

Investigators begin 'difficult' probe into Air Algerie plane disaster

Armed men snatch Head of Baghdad Provincial Council

‘Islamic State’ beheads Syrian soldiers in Raqa

Kerry in Paris for talks on long-term Gaza truce

Hezbollah chief speaks out on Gaza

Two rival Islamic states in Syria power struggle

Crete protest against Syria chemicals destruction in Mediterranean

74 killed in IS assault on Syria regime territory

Iran confirms arrest of Washington Post correspondent

Somali 'Shebab commanders' killed in AU offensive

Paris: survivors of Air Algerie jet crash 'unlikely'

Jordan shots down drone near Syria border

Gaza civilian toll spiralling to above 800

UN urges Europe to tackle Mediterranean migrant crisis

From Israel with ‘virus’: Death threat letter reaches Palestinian mission in France

Ordeal of ‘apostasy’ woman ends with departure from Sudan

Another bloody day as Israel targets civilians in UN-run school

‘Islamic State’ launches multiple attacks on Syria army

Attack on Egypt army post bears fingerprints of foreign intelligence

Harassment of Christians escalates in Islamist-run Sudan

Air Algerie plane goes missing over Mali