Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that "Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip will not be able to break the will of the Palestinian people."
He also called for the cessation of IDF attacks in Gaza.RELATED:
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Haniyeh's comments came after the IDF on Friday evening launched retaliatory attacks against Hamas in Gaza, which had earlier in the day launched
rockets into Ashkelon. The IDF air strikes
and shelling killed nine Palestinians, with Reuters reporting that three Hamas members and three Palestinian civilians were killed.
Palestinians sources also reported that another 10 people were wounded
by gunfire in the neighborhood of Sajaiya.
In a day when over 22 mortars had already landed in the South,
Palestinians launched another two mortar shells on Friday evening
which landed in the grounds of a kibbutz in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional
Council. No one was injured, but damage was caused to one of the
buildings on the kibbutz. Less than an hour later, three mortar shells landed in the Eshkol Regional Council. Two further mortar shells landed on Friday night in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. In total, 33 mortars and rockets landed in Israel on Friday, causing no casualties.
Also on Friday evening, Defense
Minister Ehud Barak praised the successful
interception by the Iron Dome
missile defense system
of three Kassam rockets fired towards Ashkelon.
Since Thursday night, 14 Palestinians were killed in various IDF attacks on terror cells throughout Gaza, according to Reuters.
The IDF said that in
response to rockets fired from deep
inside a residential area in southern Gaza, IAF air craft struck two
explosions occurred in the afternoon hours, and schools held students from returning to their homes until the attacks passed. The explosions caused no casualties.
Earlier on Friday, Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Thursday's school bus
attack "crossed the line," and adding that "the IDF acted immediately
last night and would continue to act with determination."