Israel launches retaliatory Gaza airstrike | News | DW | 19.12.2014
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Israel launches retaliatory Gaza airstrike

An Israeli airstrike has hit targets in Gaza, hours after a rocket from the Palestinian enclave hit the Jewish state. It was the country's first strike since August's truce, following a deadly 50-day war.

The airstrike, which was carried out in the early hours of Saturday, "targeted a Hamas terror infrastructure site" in the Khan Younis area in the southern Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said.

A spokesman for Gaza's health ministry said there were no casualties in the attack.

Saturday's airstrike came in response to a rocket fired from Gaza on Friday which hit an open field in southern Israel, causing no casualties or damage. It was the third such incident since fighting ended almost four months ago.

Hamas, the Palestinian militant movement, which in practice has rule over Gaza, did not claim responsibility for the attack.

EU terror list

Earlier this week, a European Union court ordered for Hamas to be removed from the EU terrorist list for procedural reasons. It said for the time being, however, that the bloc can maintain asset freezes against Hamas members.

In response to the order, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas is "a murderous terror organization" and called for them to be immedately returned to the list.

This summer's war resulted in the deaths of 2,140 mostly civilian Palestinians and 73 Israelis, most of them soldiers. Hamas militants launched thousands of rockets and mortars into Israel, which responded with airstrikes and a ground invasion.

ksb/bw (AFP, AP)

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