Israel, Hamas face off in new Gaza conflict

Israel, Hamas face off in new Gaza conflict

Israeli warplanes pounded targets in the Gaza Strip Wednesday as a major campaign to stop volleys of Palestinian rocket fire entered its second day, leaving 28 people dead and more than 100 wounded, AFP reported.

A strike on a home in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, claimed the lives of a commander of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, his parents, a woman and two children, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Another strike early Wednesday on the southern city of Rafah killed a young man.

The deaths brought to 28 the number of fatalities since the launch of Israel's Operation Protective Edge early on Tuesday, with the Jewish state not ruling out a ground operation to stop the rocket attacks.

Israeli air strikes took the lives of 24 people while four Hamas militants were killed staging a beachfront assault on an army base just north of the besieged Strip.

During the day Israel staged multiple air strikes on the Gaza Strip, which also left more than 100 wounded, and militants from the Islamist movement Hamas hit back with rocket fire on Israel's major population centres in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in the most serious flare-up over Gaza since November 2012.

As sirens wailed across the Holy City, three loud explosions were heard and a series of flashes lit the sky to the southwest.

Police said one rocket fell in the vicinity of Ramat Raziel, some 10 kilometres (six miles) from the city's southwestern flank and two more fell in outlying areas, without elaborating.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said there were no reports of injuries anywhere in the Jerusalem area.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said it had fired four M75 rockets at Jerusalem, which lies 65 kilometres from the Palestinian enclave.

It also claimed to have launched a rocket at Haifa, 165 kilometres away.

There was no report of anything hitting the northern port city but the army said a rocket did fall on Hadera, 100 kilometres north of Gaza.

Hamas militants also said Tuesday they fired four rockets at Tel Aviv, 60 kilometres north of Gaza, setting sirens off across the city. Earlier, another rocket aimed at Israel's commercial capital was shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile defence system.

Israeli authorities said that public bomb shelters in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem had been readied for use.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has demanded Israel "immediately stop" its air campaign and called on the international community to pressure the Jewish state.

"The Palestinian Authority will go to all international organisations to seek protection for the Palestinian people," he said in a televised statement.

In Tuesday's worst strike, a missile slammed into a house in the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis killing eight people and wounding 25, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Witnesses said an Israeli drone fired a warning flare, prompting relatives and neighbours to gather at the house as a human shield. But an F-16 warplane fired a missile at the building, levelling it.

Hamas denounced the attack as "a horrendous war crime" and vowed retaliation against "all Israelis".

In addition, Israeli troops killed four Hamas militants who reached the Israeli coastline by sea and tried to attack an army base near Zikim.

"A number of terrorists came out of the ocean and attacked... with Kalashnikov rifles and hand grenades," said Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, who said they were all killed.

The attack was claimed by the Qassam Brigades.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would "not tolerate the firing of rockets on our cities and towns".

"We have therefore significantly expanded our operations against Hamas and the other terrorist organisations in Gaza," he said in a statement.

His remarks came after the security cabinet approved the call-up of some 40,000 reservists, as a senior official told AFP the military was preparing all options to stamp out the rocket fire, "including an invasion or a ground operation".

"We have been instructed by the political echelon to hit Hamas hard," military spokesman General Moti Almoz said in an interview with army radio. Two brigades were already stationed around Gaza, with more to join them in coming days.

Since June 12, when the current round of tit-for-tat violence began, the army says hundreds of rockets have hit southern Israel, with another 40 intercepted.

So far, no Israelis have been injured or killed. Washington condemned the rocket fire as the "deliberate targeting of civilians" by militants and the European Union also denounced the "indiscriminate" fire from Gaza and the "growing number of civilian casualties... caused by Israeli retaliatory fire" and demanded an immediate ceasefire.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged Hamas to halt its attacks, while Turkey called for an immediate end to the Israel assault.

The Arab League, meanwhile, called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting on the crisis.

Azerbaijani expert talks future plans for import of hydrogen vehicles
Azerbaijani expert talks future plans for import of hydrogen vehicles
Georgia - one of largest beneficiaries of EBRD investments per capita
Georgia - one of largest beneficiaries of EBRD investments per capita
USAID provides comprehensive support to entrepreneurship dev’t in Turkmenistan
USAID provides comprehensive support to entrepreneurship dev’t in Turkmenistan
Loading Bars
Latest
Azerbaijan confirms 632 more COVID-19 recoveries
Azerbaijani, Georgian FMs exchange views on latest situation in region
Period of revival of previously occupied Azerbaijani lands already began - ambassador
Denim production to be launched at textile enterprise in Uzbek Bukhara region
Azerbaijani expert talks future plans for import of hydrogen vehicles
Georgia - one of largest beneficiaries of EBRD investments per capita
USAID provides comprehensive support to entrepreneurship dev’t in Turkmenistan
French Proparco provides Georgian hospitals with grant to support COVID-19 battle
Uzbekistan to make strengthening relations with states of Central Asia priority
Georgia to establish blackberry plantation via state program
India’s role in combating COVID-19 through vaccine development and manufacturing
Russian Gazprombank expecting Azerbaijani sovereign rating's return to 'stable' outlook
Support for revival of Nagorno-Karabakh must become way of life – Azerbaijani minister
Tesla Israel headquarters nears completion
Armenian soldiers demanding compensation for participation in Karabakh war
Azerbaijan shows footage from Yukhari Abdurrakhmanli village of Fuzuli (VIDEO)
Azercell is always leading with its exemplary service quality
Uzbekistan may consider temporary suspension of yarn exports
Georgia reveals volume of domestic debt
Walmart expands vaccinations in boost to U.S. COVID-19 program
Israeli company eyes creating lavender plantations in Uzbek Namangan region
Georgia reveals volume of imported oil bitumen
European standard bakery to open with support of Bank of Georgia
Kazakhstan investing in Georgia across wide range of economy spheres
Georgia sees decrease in import of aviation fuel
Azerbaijani President declared Nagorno-Karabakh status issue as left in past - MFA's comment on European Parliament's resolution
Dagestan starts exporting ceramic products to Azerbaijan
Georgian RMG Gold company's total sales increase
Demand for notes of Central Bank of Azerbaijan exceeds supply
Assessment of damage caused by Armenia to Azerbaijani civilian objects continues
Volume of cargo passing through Astara terminal increasing from year to year
Criminal case opened against more terrorists used by Armenia against Azerbaijan
National Bank of Kazakhstan determines strategic initiatives for 2021
Bukhara oil refinery produces floating pontoons to eliminate loss of light hydrocarbons
Azerbaijan establishes Agency for Development of Economic Zones
Azerbaijan developing employment programs for future residents of liberated lands
Georgia decides to increase subsidies for flour
UK can help Azerbaijan to demine liberated lands - ambassador
Azerbaijan, UK discuss issues of development of co-op in area of defense
EU, FAO supporting agriculture and rural development in Georgia
Automated warehouse system introduced at Uzbekneftegaz JSC
Projected volume of trade turnover between Turkmenistan, US for 2021 named
Kazakhstan's monetary base surges in value in Dec. 2020
Uzbekneftegaz manages to reduce imports of materials, technical resources
Elon Musk to offer $100 million prize for 'best' carbon capture tech
Kazakhstan boosts petroleum oil exports to Spain despite COVID-19
Georgia to restore operations of municipal transport, schools and stores
Application of TRACECA single transit permit digitalizes transport and logistics sector
Azerbaijani gymnasts to take part in European Championships in Switzerland
Kazakhstan deregulates tanker call-in services for oil crude, products export
Azerbaijan's energy company building new substation in liberated Shusha (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Regular flights to resume from February 1 in Georgia
PASHA Bank's branch in liberated Shusha to help implement territories' restoration initiatives
Nar offers special discounts for Karabagh war veterans
Austrian Enhanced Resource Company talks about work plans in Azerbaijan for 2021
Azerbaijani banking community eyeing dev't of entrepreneurial ecosystem in liberated territories
German government sees 2021 GDP growth of 3%
Kazatomprom completes COVID-19 testing at its JV with French Orano
Introduction of Euro-5 diesel standard postponed in Georgia
Azerbaijan studying Turkey's experience to create liberal electricity market
Baku Higher Oil School holds discussions on ‘Natural resources of Karabakh’ (PHOTO)
Volume of vegetable oil imported by Turkmenistan from EAEU revealed
Major foreign companies to support logistics and fulfillment center creation in Kazakhstan
Volkswagen operating profit drops by half in 2020
Azerbaijan discloses commercial banks' total share in GDP
Azerbaijan-Turkmenistan co-op development serves economic well-being of region - MP
Georgian government's action plan has direct, clear priorities - PM
Demand for dairy products of EAEU countries increases in Turkmenistan
Cotton fiber production increases in Uzbekistan
All preventive measures to be taken in connection with COVID-19 at Azerbaijani schools
Public Council under Azerbaijani Ministry of Ecology to assess damage in liberated lands
Azerbaijan's PASHA Bank talks government initiatives for restoring liberated territories
Passenger traffic of Georgian airports significantly down
Tutoring activity may be resumed in Azerbaijan soon - minister
Turkmenistan increases import of flour from EAEU
China's CEIC, China Reform set up $1.55 billion new energy fund
Uzbekistan reduces gasoline production
Azerbaijan shows footage from Gargabazar village of Fuzuli district (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Greenhouses construction underway at agro-industrial complex in Uzbek Bukhara region
Uzbekistan, Ukraine talk diversification of mutual trade
Uzbekistan’s mining and metallurgical complex eyes increasing its authorized capital
Turkmenistan's fruit imports from EAEU increased
Azerbaijan to continue TV lessons until end of academic year
Minister talks possible date of kindergartens opening in Azerbaijan
Education minister talks epidemiological situation in Azerbaijan
Russia bans import of tomatoes from more Azerbaijani producers
Armenian opposition rallying in front of parliament building
Hungary PM says too early to talk about lifting COVID-19 restrictions
Education in Azerbaijani schools to begin in stages from February 1
Georgia reports 903 new cases of coronavirus for Jan.22
Kazakhstan's Kazakhmys boosts metals output, reveals plans for 2020
UK keeping its borders open for now - environment minister
Issue of banning tomato imports from Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan under review - Azerbaijani FDA
Restrictions imposed by Kazakhstan on import of tomatoes from Azerbaijan - temporary, says Kazakh Ministry
Results of Second Karabakh War hard to accept for Armenia, says Russian expert
Azerbaijan names amount of compensation paid to closed banks' depositors
Kazakhstan boosts 2020 passenger cars manufacturing despite COVID-19
Uzbekistan’s 2020 volume of electricity production up
Georgia reveals data on exports to Russia
Georgian tangerines exports exceed preliminary forecasts
All news