Hamas security forces survey car hit in IAF strike_311.
(photo credit:Reuters/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)
A Hamas spokesperson said Thursday Israel was to blame for an escalation of violence
between the Gaza Strip and the Jewish state, calling on Egypt and the
United Nations to pressure Jerusalem to discontinue attacks in Gaza.Barhoum
called on Egypt and the United Nations to intervene immediately in
order to put pressure on Israel to "stop attacks," according to pan-Arab
news website Vision News.
Thursday, the IDF thwarted an attack from the Sinai Peninsula after the
Air Force bombed targets in the northern Gaza Strip, killing a number
of senior terrorists involved in plotting attacks against Israel.
IAF strikes tunnel used to infiltrate into Israel
Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum called the attack a crime.
hold the government of the Zionist occupation (Israel) fully
responsible for this crime and for the new escalation," Barhoum said.
He also blamed the United States for
financial and militarily supporting what he called "the growing crimes
of the 'occupation' against the Palestinian people."
Palestinians reported that two people were killed in the attack and at least two others injured.
IDF said the cell that was targeted was planning to launch an attack
against Israel from Egypt. One of the operatives. Sobhi Ismail Batash, a
resident of Gaza City, was described as a senior operative in the al
Aksa Martys Brigades and was involved in planning the attack. The IDF
said that the terrorists were supposed to cross from Gaza in to Sinai,
and then into Israel.
Over the past week the IDF has been on high
alert along the border with Egypt amid concern that terrorists were
plotting an attack similar to the one in August when Palestinian and
Egyptian terrorists crossed into Israel and killed eight Israelis.
the IDF said, was involved in a 2007 attack when a suicide bomber
crossed from Sinai into Eilat, blowing himself up and killing three
Israelis. He was also involved in other attacks over the years that were
Palestinian funeral for Essam Al-Batsh and Sobhi Al-Batsh
The killing of Batash marks the first time Israel targeted a specific individual it views as a terrorist leader since the IAF took out a Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) senior commander while he was riding his motorcycle in the Gaza Strip.
Samed Abdul Mu'ty Abed was killed during a spasm of violence
that broke out between terrorists in Gaza and Israel after armed gunmen
carried out a cross-border terrorist attack north of Eilat that claimed
the lives of eight Israelis.
The PRC denied responsibility for that terror attack.
Former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter warned that Islamic Jihad may try to respond to the attack by firing upon Israel, Army Radio reported Thursday.
According to the report, Al-Aksa itself may be too small to respond forcefully on its own.
"We're talking about a central figure. I wouldn't be surprised if they
will try to to fire on us, even if only to show symbolically that they
haven't given up," Dichter said.
The defense establishment urged residents living in communities close to Gaza to stay indoors or near safe spaces Thursday night, on fears of retaliatory attacks from the Strip, Israel Radio reported.
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