Israel hits 80 Gaza targets after 30 rockets fired by Palestinians | News | DW | 27.10.2018
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Israel hits 80 Gaza targets after 30 rockets fired by Palestinians

Israeli jets have hit scores of targets in the Gaza Strip after the heaviest exchange of fire in weeks. Israeli border forces had shot and killed five Palestinians protesting along the perimeter fence.

Israel said its air force hit about 80 targets early Saturday, including a four-storey building used by Hamas as a headquarters.

Overnight, air raid sirens were heard in southern Israel as ten of the incoming rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome rocket defense system, two landed before they reached their targets and the rest fell in open areas.

Islamic Jihad, a smaller group which sometimes acts independently of Hamas, appeared to claim responsibility for the rocket fire. It issued a statement saying that it normally exercises restraint, but it "can no longer stand idle before the continued killing of innocents and bloodshed by the Israeli occupation."  

Israel holds Hamas responsible for any fire that comes from Gaza.

Israeli airstrikes caused a fireball in Gaza city

Israeli airstrikes caused a fireball in Gaza city

Egypt mediating for a ceasefire

The biggest rocket attacks since August came after the deaths on the border on Friday, and despite talk of progress in easing Israel's crippling 11-year blockade.

Following Egyptian mediation, authorities in Gaza and Israel had previously called a ceasefire.

Egyptian security officials have been talking separately to Israeli and Palestinian leaders in an attempt to restore calm along the border.

Palestinians have been protesting along the border since March 30, demanding an end to Israel's blockade of the territory and the right to return to lands from which they either fled or were driven from when Israel was founded in 1948.

Read more: Gaza feels bite of US cuts to Palestinian aid

Israel claims Syria, Iran involved

Earlier on Saturday, Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus accused Syria and Iran of being involved in the rocket attack.

"Orders and incentives were given from Damascus with a clear involvement of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards al-Quds force," Conricus told reporters. "Our response is not limited geographically."

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, 213 Gazans have been killed by Israeli forces in recent protests, while one Israeli soldier was killed by a Palestinian sniper.

 

law/jm (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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