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First airstrike launched by Israel on Gaza since Nov. truce

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by Joseph Earnest April 3, 2013  

Newscast Media JERUSALEMIsrael has launched an airstrike on the Gaza Strip, the first since Hamas and Israel agreed to a ceasefire in November. The strike comes after a Palestinian prisoner suffering from cancer died in Israeli custody.

Palestinian security forces said that Israeli airstrikes early Wednesday hit two spots close to Gaza City and another site further north towards the frontier with Israel.

"Occupation planes bombarded an open area in northern Gaza, there were no wounded," a statement from the Hamas Interior Ministry said.

Wednesday's airstrike was the first by Israel since it agreed to an Egyptian-mediated truce with Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, after eight days of fighting in November that killed 170 Palestinians and six Israelis.

Israel's military confirmed the attacks.

"In response to several rocket fire incidents directed at Israel, an Israeli Air Force aircraft targeted overnight two extensive terror sites in the Northern Gaza Strip," it said in a statement.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon defended the military's action.

"We will not in any way allow a routine of rocket fire steadily dripping on our civilians and soldiers," Yaalon said in a statement.

The Israeli military said that Gaza militants fired a rocket into southern Israel on Tuesday, after a Palestinian suffering from cancer in Israeli custody died. The rocket hit an open area in southern Israel, causing no damage or injuries. A Salifist group, Magles Shoura al-Mujahedeen, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The deceased prisoner, 63-year-old Maisara Abu Hamdiyeh from the West Bank city of Hebron, had been suffering from throat cancer. The Palestinian leadership blamed Israel for his death and expressed outrage over Israel's failure to release him early on compassionate grounds.

Protests in prisons across Israel broke out after Abu Hamdiyeh's death. Clashes also erupted in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, where demonstrators have staged protests in recent weeks in support of Palestinian prisoners, many of whom are on long-term hunger strikes and held without charge.  Add Comments>>


Source: Deutsche Welle







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