Hamas officials: IAF strike kills 1, injures 4 in Gaza

IDF does not confirm air strike casualties, announces IAF destroyed terror tunnel in the Strip intended for future terror attacks; at least 12 projectiles fired at Gaza-belt communities in 24 hour period.

By AP
September 15, 2010 15:12
2 minute read.
Palestinian Hamas officers inspect damage in Gaza

Gaza Air Strike Damage 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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An IAF strike in the Gaza Strip killed one Palestinian and wounded four more on Wednesday, according to Hamas security officials. The reported violence came as US, Israeli and Palestinian leaders held peace talks in Jerusalem.

The strike appeared to be retaliation for a spike in Palestinian mortar fire into Israel on Wednesday, just as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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The IDF announced later that it had bombed a tunnel in Gaza on Wednesday as part of a joint operation between Shin Bet (Israel Security Service) and the IDF against terrorist attempts to use tunnels to attack or kidnap Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The targeted tunnel was destroyed by the bombs and a secondary explosion was identified, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit. The army also stated that terrorists had fired at least one rocket and nine mortars by mid-afternoon — the highest daily total since March 2009.

The army did not report any casualties in the attack on the tunnel.

In the most recent attack, three mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the Eshkol Regional Council region on Wednesday afternoon. Around midday, four mortar shells were fired into southern Israel, also landing in the Eshkol region. No injuries or damage were reported in either attack.

A Code Red alarm sounded in the same area about an hour after the mortar attacks, followed by a loud explosion, believed to be a Kassam-type rocket. No one was injured in the attack.



Earlier on Wednesday, two mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the same area, injuring no one. Two rockets were fired from Gaza several hours before the mortar attacks. A Kassam-type rocket exploded south of Ashkelon, causing no injuries or damage. Security forces were searching for the location of the second rocket.

On Tuesday, one Palestinian was killed and at least four were wounded after the IDF returned fire in response to a terrorist attack in the northern Gaza Strip.

The IDF said that a force operating near the fence came under anti-tank fire and responded with tank shells and light gunfire. One of the terrorists was killed and four others were wounded.

Ahmed Jaabari, leader of Hamas’ military wing, issued a rare statement threatening a wave of violence intended to derail the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian peace talks on Tuesday.

Rocket attacks from Gaza have increased since before the Rosh Hashana holiday. Predictions in the defense establishment are that Hamas will continue to carry out attacks against Israel as the peace talks progress.

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