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Gaza rocket hits near southern Israeli city in show of defiance

10 August, 2018, 07:41 | Author: Lucille Rivera
  • 25 2017 shows a partial view of the Israeli settlement of Ariel near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus

In a statement on Twitter, the army said the strikes were "conducted in response to the rockets launched from Gaza at Israel throughout the night", adding that 180 rockets - at least 30 of which were intercepted by Israel's "Iron Dome" defense system - were fired from the Gaza Strip.

Nickolay Mladenov, the United Nations special envoy who is involved in Egyptian efforts to broker a truce, said in a statement on Thursday that he's "deeply alarmed" by "multiple rockets fired toward communities in southern Israel" the day before.

Israelis stand and inspect surrounding damages outside the cordoned area where a rocket fired by militants from the Gaza Strip fell and created a small crater in the southern Israeli town of Sderot on 9 August 2018.

It was the first time since a 2014 war that a rocket had hit that deep inside Israel, according to Israeli media.

The Said Meshal Cultural Centre confirmed on its Facebook page the offices in Gaza City had been destroyed, saying the building also hosted offices for the Egyptian community in Gaza.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza in 2007.

A pregnant Palestinian woman and her 18-month-old child were killed in the Israeli attacks overnight on Wednesday, as was a Hamas militant, Gaza medical officials said.

But at least 11 Israelis were injured after projectiles slammed into residential areas, blowing out windows and leaving cars and buildings pockmarked with shrapnel.

"We've seen reports that 180 or so rocket attacks have taken place, shot from Gaza into Israel, and we fully support Israel's right to defend itself and to take actions to prevent provocations of that nature", Nauert said.

The strike on the building in Gaza City wounded 18 Palestinians.

Twenty-four of the slain protesters were minors, the ministry has said.

Israeli Army Radio said Palestinian militants had fired a Grad missile capable of reaching Israel's heartland.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his security cabinet late into the night on Thursday. Hamas militants responded with a cross-border fusillade that sent Israelis scrambling for air raid shelters.

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Military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said he had no information on the woman and child being killed, but noted a pregnant Israeli woman was taken to hospital Wednesday night after a rocket landed nearby.

Israel's latest attack on Gaza was characterized as the largest escalation since 2014, when Israel killed more than 2,000 Palestinians in a seven-week military operation.

"Bayan was sleeping with her mother and father".

The building is home to a popular theater and exhibits plays and other shows on a daily basis.

Thursday's events are the latest in a series of severe flare ups over the past few months in Gaza, leading many local and worldwide officials to speculate that another large-scale Israeli offensive on the Palestinian territory could be imminent.

According to Haaretz, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) intentionally targeted civilians "with the goal of causing the residents to understand the price of escalation and placing Hamas in a problematic situation".

"What I can say is that we targeted by definition only military targets that were clearly used by Hamas where there was an active presence of Hamas and nothing else", he told journalists on Thursday morning.

The three flare-ups since July, which follow months of tensions due to protests and clashes along the Gaza border, have raised fears of a fourth war between the two sides since 2008.

Mladenov warned that "if the current escalation however is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas called on the worldwide community to "immediately and urgently intervene".

Israel has killed more than 150 people since March when Palestinians began to stage protests on the border to demand an end to the blockade and the return of the Palestinians to the occupied territories.

The two were killed when an Israeli airstrike hit their home in the Jaafari area of central Gaza.

Nofal claimed that this is one of the reasons why "the Palestinian people have emerged victorious in all battles".

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