Israeli air-strikes target northern Gaza

Israeli air-strikes targeted the northern Gaza Strip on Oct. 28, Israel’s army said, in the first air-strike on Gaza in over two months. “In response to the numerous rockets and mortars launched at Israel in the past 24 hours, IAF aircraft targeted two concealed rocket launchers in the northern Gaza Strip. Direct hits were confirmed,” a statement said. Witnesses said the attack targeted a training ground used by militants from the armed wing of Gaza’s ruling Hamas movement west of Beit Lahiya, but no-one was hurt.  Several rockets were fired from Gaza early that day, with one rocket intercepted by the Iron Dome system above Ashkelon, Israel’s army said. A mortar shell was fired from Gaza on Sunday, the army added. No group has claimed responsibility for firing the rockets.

It was the first air-strike since Aug. 14 when the air force hit targets in the same area also in response to rocket fire, in a development which took place just hours after Israel released a first batch of Palestinian prisoners.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2007. The blockade was imposed following the victory of Hamas in the 2006 Palestinian elections and the subsequent 2007 clashes between Fatah and Hamas, which left Hamas in control of the Strip and Fatah in control of the West Bank. The blockade has severely limited the imports and exports of the Gaza Strip and has led to frequent humanitarian crises and hardship for Gazans.

From Ma’an News Agency, Oct. 28

  1. Gaza man killed by Israeli artillery
    A young man was killed and another wounded late Oct. 31 in an Israeli artillery shelling east of Khan Yunis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, a Ma’an reporter said. Medics said a 22-year-old man died and another was injured after the two were targeted by Israeli forces in the Absan area east of Khan Younis. Locals said that ambulances brought the body and the injured man to the hospital. A spokeswoman for the Israeli army did not immediately return calls seeking comment. (Ma’an News Agency)

  2. Militants shoot down Israeli drone over Gaza?
    Palestinian militant groups in Gaza shot down an Israeli drone in the northern Gaza Strip, sources in Gaza told Ma’an News Agency Nov. 3. A spokesperson for the Israeli army confirmed that a reconnaissance drone crashed while on an “executive mission,” but said that it malfunctioned due to a technical problem.

    Also Nov. 3, witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli military vehicles entered northern Gaza, razing agricultural land inside the strip. (Maan News Agency, Nov. 3)

    The incidents cames as the Gaza Strip was again plunged into darkness as the territory’s one power plant ran out of fuel. “The plant will remain shut until fuel supplies resume from Egypt through the tunnels or the Rafah border crossing, or from Israel if the Palestinian Authority agrees not to impose the heavy taxes,” said Fathi el-Sheikh Khalil, deputy chair of the strip’s Energy Authority. (Al Jazeera, Nov. 1)