Israeli airstrikes target several sites in Gaza, Hamas fires mortars into Israel

12:00 May 29 2018 Gaza

Israeli airstrikes target several sites in Gaza, Hamas fires mortars into Israel Israeli airstrikes target several sites in Gaza, Hamas fires mortars into Israel
Scene. Published by Maan News

A picture taken from Gaza City on May 29, 2018, shows a smoke billowing in the background following an Israeli air strike on the Palestinian enclave. Credit: THOMAS COEX/AFP/. Published by Haarez

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli military planes carried out several airstrikes targeting military sites in the central Gaza Strip on Tuesday afternoon.

Sources told Ma’an that Israeli planes launched seven missiles targeting an al-Quds Brigades site, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad movement.

No fighters were at the site, and no injuries were reported. Material damages to the sites were reported.

Another strike also targeted a site in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army said in a statement that Israeli planes targeted 30 sites in Gaza.

Israeli news website Ynet reported that Israe's Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted several rockets fire from Gaza into Israeli territory.

Tensions have been high in Gaza over the past few days, as at least four Palestinian fighters from the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movement have been killed in Israeli airstrikes between Sunday and Monday.
Live Updates: Why Israel Agreed to Hamas' Request to End Fighting
Israel carries out 30 strikes on Gaza, including attack tunnel ■ IDF says some Gaza rockets are Iranian-made ■ U.S. calls for emergency Security Council session over Gaza rockets

by Haaretz May 31, 2018 12:50 PM

The Israeli air force struck targets in Gaza in response to rocket barrages fired toward southern Israeli communities Tuesday, also bombing a tunnel which led from Gaza into Egypt and then into Israeli territory.

The first barrage consisted of 28 mortars, with one shell falling in the yard of a kindergarten in an Israeli community close to the border with Gaza. The attacks continued throughout the day triggering dozens of rocket sirens in southern Israel and wounding five Israelis, one of them suffering moderate injuries. Earlier on Sunday and Monday, the Israeli army had killed four militants with strikes on the strip.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have claimed Tuesday's attacks, while the international community has called on the groups to cease firing projectiles immediately.

Live updates:

8:22 A.M.: Senior Hamas official says Gaza ceasefire reached to end violence, AFP reports

7:22 A.M.: Solider hit by shrapnel in moderate condition (Haaretz)

7:09 A.M.: Eshkol regional council: Direct hit on home in the Eshkol region, no casualties

At least two rockets fired from Gaza exploded in the Eshkol region overnight, the regional council spokesperson said. One hit a house in the area directly. There were no casualties. (Almog Ben Zikri)

1:09 A.M. Israeli army confirms carrying out strikes on 25 Hamas targets in Gaza Strip (Haaretz)

12:48 A.M. Rocket explodes in southern Israeli town, no casualties reported. Israel strikes targets in Gaza Strip (Yaniv Kubovich)

Earlier, Israel struck positions in Gaza, Palestinian reports said.

11:18 P.M. Reports: Israel, Hamas and Islamic Jihad have reached cease-fire in Gaza; Israeli official denies
. . .

5:45 P.M. Israel Navy stops Palestinian flotilla attempting to sail From Gaza

The Israel Navy stopped a flotilla of Palestinian activists who set sail from Gaza Tuesday to protest years of a naval blockade by Israel and Egypt on the Gaza Strip.

The navy prevented the flotilla from crossing the blockade line – six nautical miles off the coast. Navy ships also stopped one of the boats, with some 17 Palestinians aboard, after it crossed out of the area where allowed fishing boats are allowed and violated the blockade, the military said. Read full story

5:29 P.M. Israel instructs diplomats to 'demand strong condemnation' of Gaza attacks

The Foreign Ministry sent a special cable to all Israeli diplomats instructing them to "demand a strong condemnation of the terror attacks from Gaza against Israeli civilians." The cable says Israel holds "Hamas responsible." (Noa Landau) Read full story

5:25 P.M. Cleared for publication: Three of the wounded Israelis are soldiers

Three of the wounded by mortar fragments in an open area near the Gaza border were soldiers, the Israel Defense Foreces said. One suffered moderate wounds and two were lightly injured.

5: 02 P.M. Jason Greenblatt criticizes Hamas on Twitter

Jason Greenblatt, the American special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, tweeted condemning the attacks to Israel from the Gaza strip. "Reprehensible – mortars fired from Gaza at a kindergarten and community in Israel!," he wrote, adding "Hamas has failed – all it can offer is terror. Palestinians in Gaza need real leaders to work on Gaza’s real problems with its water, its economy and so much more." Read full story

5:00 P.M. Three Israelis wounded by mortar shrapnel fragments

Three people were lightly wounded by mortar shell fragments in an open area near the Gaza border, including one who suffered head injuries. The total number of Israelis injured in the flare-up with militants in the Gaza Strip is thus up to five. In the border town of Sderot, a man suffered bruises while running to a shelter. Two others suffered from shock. Earlier, one person was wounded by mortar shrapnel.

4:50 P.M. Netanyahu to hold security briefing

Netanyahu to hold security briefing with Defense chief Avigdor Lieberman, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot, Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman and senior security officials in Jerusalem. (Noa Landau)

4:31 P.M. Israeli man wounded by mortar fire from Gaza

An Israeli man sustained light injuries after he was hit by shrapnel from mortar fire launched from Gaza.

4:30 P.M. France declares that it is 'unconditionally committed to Israel's security' and condemns firing of mortar shells into populated areas of Israel

In response to the firing of mortar shells into populated areas of Israel on Tuesday, the French embassy in Tel Aviv released a statement from the French Foreign Ministry saying: "France roundly condemns the firing at a civilian population, which fortunately has not claimed victims. France is unconditionally committed to Israel's security. France condemns the renewed violence, which is inconsistent with a peaceable solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A renewal of a credible diplomatic process requires all of the sides to forgo the use of violence." Read full story

4:26 P.M. Sirens sound 50 times in Israeli communities

Rocket sirens went off 50 times since the morning in Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip since the morning.

4:17 P.M. IDF tells residents of Gaza border communities to remain within 15 seconds of shelters

4:15 P.M. Defense Minister LIeberman says Israel has no intention to let the situation pass

Speaking about the situation, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said: "Today at midday, we massively and powerfully attacked terrorist infrastructure, including an additional tunnel, across the Gaza Strip. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have already paid a heavy price and the bill has just been presented to them. We have no intention to let it pass," he said, indicating that Israel would not take Tuesday incidents lightly.

4:10 P.M. Iron Dome carried out more than 25 interceptions

During the course of the day, the army reported more than 25 interceptions by Iron Dome, adding that the system's "capacity to deal with mortar shells is not hermetic, despite the successes."

"From our standpoint, Hamas is responsible for what happens in the strip. Just as it permitted quiet, now it is permitting noise. It was in fact Islamic Jihad that fired but Hamas bears responsibility," the army said.

3:48 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in southern Israeli communities

3:27 P.M. Israel strikes Gaza 30 times; target includes 'terror tunnel'

The IDF said it launched 30 missiles on seven targets in the Gaza Strip, including what it described as a "terror tunnel" reaching 900 meters into Israeli territory. Some of the rockets fired from Gaza toward Israel are Iranian-made, the IDF said. The military called this the worst incident since the Israel-Gaza war of 2014.

According to the IDF, the tunnel was discovered 10 days ago and is two kilometers long. It originates in the Gaza Strip, extends into Egyptian territory for a kilometer and then winds back into Israeli territory for 900 meters. The army added that the tunnel was used both for smuggling and terror activities. (Yaniv Kubovich) Read full story

3:14 P.M. Israel intercepts rockets as second barrage launched from Gaza

The IDF intercepted several rockets from Gaza, the second such barrage launched toward Israel in hours. Parts of a rocket fell in the yard of a school in Sderot, the community's city hall said. No casualties were reported. (Yaniv Kubovich, Almog Ben-Zikri)

2:53 P.M. Rocket sirens blare again across Israeli south; Iron Dome triggered

Numerous rocket sirens sounded in the southern Israeli communities of Sderot, Hof Ashkelon, Shaar Hanegev and Eshkol. The IDF activated Iron Dome missile defense systems. (Yaniv Kubovich)

1:36 P.M. Israel strikes Islamic Jihad target in Gaza City, report says

The Israeli military carried out strikes on an Islamic Jihad facility in Gaza and attacked targets in Khan Younis, Dir al-Balah and Al-Nasirat. (Jack Khoury)

12:52 P.M. Israel Air Force strikes Gaza

The Israeli air force struck targets in Gaza in retaliation for the rocket barrage. The IDF said it is carrying out an operation in the Strip and that explosions could be heard in the vicinity. (Yaniv Kubovich)

12:39 P.M. Hamas says Israel striking central Gaza

According to reports in Khan Yunis, Israeli warplanes fired at least 10 missiles on Islamic Jihad targets in Gaza. (Jack Khoury)

12:27 P.M. Egypt in talks with Israel, Hamas, Islamic Jihad to avoid Gaza conflict

A Palestinian official in Gaza told Haaretz that Egypt is in touch with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Israel in an effort to head off a deterioration of the situation into a wider conflict. The talks with Islamic Jihad are being conducted at a high level and include the group's leadership abroad, the source said. According to assessments in Gaza, if Israel's response does not result in fatalities in Gaza, all of the parties to the conflict will act with restraint. (Jack Khoury)

12:20 P.M. Netanyahu tweets, deletes that '57 missiles' fired toward Israel

"Let the world know: Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip continue to attack Israel. Share the truth!," Netanyahu tweeted, despite the fact that 28 mortar shells – not 57 missiles – were fired from Gaza. Less than an hour later, the prime minister deleted the tweet. (Haaretz)

11:50 A.M. Netanyahu vows 'forceful' response to Gaza barrage

"The Israeli army will respond with great force to these attacks. Israel will exact a heavy price from anyone who tries to harm it and we view Hamas as having responsibility to prevent these attacks against us," Netanyahu said at a conference in the Galilee.

Netanyahu also discussed Iran's presence on Syria's border with Israel. "We are not making do with an Iranian withdrawal from just southern Syria," Netanyahu said. "The Iranian missiles have a range that endangers us even if they are in other areas. Iran needs to leave all of Syria. We have not agreed to less than that." (Noa Shpigel, Noa Landau)

10:52 A.M. Lieberman, senior defense officials hold security meeting

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot and other senior defense officials met at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv Tuesday for an urgently convened meeting to consider the latest developments on the Gaza border. (Yaniv Kubovich)

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