Israel aircraft raid Gaza for fourth day in row


AFP
Date: 7/15/2011

Israeli aircraft struck Gaza overnight for the fourth time in as many days, wounding a militant who was about to fire a rocket, Palestinian security sources said on Saturday.

The Palestinian was admitted to hospital but his injuries were not life–threatening, the sources said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed that an air strike had targeted a Palestinian.

The raid was followed by the firing of two rockets from Gaza into Israel, neither of which caused casualties or damage, she added.

There has been a sharp increase in rocket fire by Gaza militants in recent days, ending two months of relative calm in which just two rockets were fired into Israel in two months.

Armed forces chief of staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz convened a meeting on Friday with regional commander for Gaza Brigadier General Tal Russo, air force chief Major General Ido Nehustan and military intelligence chief Major General Aviv Kochavi to discuss a response, Israeli media reported.

Israel has launched a series of air strikes in retaliation for the rocket fire.

On Thursday night, Israeli jets struck three targets in Gaza, moderately wounding four Palestinians, security and medical officials said.

On Wednesday night, Israeli aircraft targeted three tunnels, two used for smuggling in southern Gaza and one "used for terrorist activity" in the north of the Palestinian territory.

Two Palestinians were listed as missing after one of the tunnels collapsed in the raid, and the body of one of them has been recovered, medics said. The fate of the other man is still unknown.

On Tuesday, Israeli air raids hit what the military called two "weapons manufacturing sites" in northern Gaza. Palestinian medical sources said one woman was moderately injured.

In April, tensions rose after an anti–tank missile fired from Gaza hit an Israeli school bus, killing a teenager.

Israel responded with a series of air strikes that killed at least 19 Palestinians in the deadliest violence since Israel's devastating 22–day assault on Gaza in 2008–2009.

The violence raised fears of another similar offensive, but on April 10 Gaza's Hamas rulers declared a return to the truce that ended Israel's Operation Cast Lead in January 2009.


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