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.

 

US, Iranian top diplomats confront each other for first time

Moscow accuses US of hitting Syrian regime forces

Turkey, Iran and Iraq make joint threat against Kurd vote

Thousands of Huthi supporters mark 3 years since Sanaa takeover

Gemstone purchase essential for Najaf pilgrims

UN sets up probe of IS war crimes in Iraq

Air strikes kill 22 civilians in northwest Syria in 48 hours

Iranian supreme leader lashes out at Trump UN speech

Iraq attacks all remaining IS territory at once

Turkey jails lawyers representing hunger striking teachers

Syrian Kurds to hold first local elections in federal push

Qatari expats lauded as statesmen by Arab critics

Shipwreck off Libyan coast leaves over 100 migrants missing

Will Turkey’s opposition to Kurdish state translate into action?

US ups the ante on Iraq Kurds

Macron: Iran nuclear deal no longer enough

Trump’s mind made up on Iran but refuses to divulge

Scores of Iraqis missing during war against ISIS

Netanyahu rejects calls for mixed gender worship at Western Wall

Russia accuses US of missile treaty breach

Iran TV translator mocked for watering down Trump speech

Saudi Arabia hopes Kurdish referendum will not take place

Saudi invites women to sports stadium for first time

Saudi set to create $2.7 billion investment company

Humanitarian disaster grips Yemen three years since Houthi takeover

What will become of Iraq’s Hawija after ISIS?

Multi-ethnic Kirkuk tense ahead of referendum

UN awaits Iran’s defence against Trump nuclear deal threats

US-backed SDF seizes 90% of Syria's Raqa

Man hanged in Iran for rape, murder of child

Saudi to lift ban on internet phone calls

Sisi calls for peace, co-existence in Mideast

Erdogan demands Iraqi Kurds call off referendum

US looking to revisit Iran nuclear deal

Trump expects Gulf dispute to be resolved quickly

Bashir calls on Darfur displaced to return

Saudi Aramco could release accounts in early 2018

Saudi-led coalition says rebels hindering Yemen food imports

Jihadist activity prompts regime, Russian air strikes in Syria safe zone

Two prominent rights activists arrested in Saudi Arabia

Israel shoots down Hezbollah drone over Golan Heights

Iraqi forces launch assault on IS in western Anbar province

Families of the missing, the forgotten victims of war in Lebanon

25 killed in South Sudan clashes

Suicide attack on Iraq restaurant kills three