Israel responds to Palestinian attacks with airstrikes, tightened security

09:39, September 06, 2010      

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A Palestinian man is treated at a hospital after wounded in Israeli air raid in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, on Sept. 4, 2010. Israeli war jets on Saturday nights struck two targets and wounded at least four Palestinians in southern Gaza Strip in response to an earlier homemade rocket fired from the Gaza Strip to Israel, medical sources said. (Xinhua/Khaled Omar)

The Israeli air force on Saturday pounded what it said were smuggling tunnels in the Gaza Strip after Palestinian militants fired a Kassam rocket into Israel earlier in the day, according to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman.

"The terror tunnel was intended for infiltrating into Israel and executing terror attacks against IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians. The attack is in response to the security related incidents that took place throughout the week," according to a statement sent to Xinhua.

Medical sources and witnesses said the overnight bombing raid killed at least two persons and wounded three.

Meanwhile, the IDF, which "holds Hamas solely responsible for terror emanating from the Gaza Strip," beefed up patrols and roadblocks throughout the West Bank in what some fear could be a return to ongoing shooting and bombing attacks against Israelis in the West Bank as well as in Israel proper.

The Hamas took responsibility for two shooting attacks in the northern and southern West Bank that left four Israeli civilians dead, and two wounded. On Thursday, a young woman passenger in a car sustained moderate head wounds in a stoning attack on her vehicle.

The Hamas officials in Gaza said the attacks were "part of the repelling operations against the occupation assaults on the Gaza Strip and the West Bank."

The group, which bitterly opposes any Israeli-Palestinian rapprochement has vowed to carry out further attacks soon.

The string of attacks took place as Israeli and Palestinian leaders met in Washington for the first time in over 18-months for direct talks.

"This week there have been dozens of alerts about attempts to carry out attack in Israel and in Judaea and Samaria (West Bank)," Israeli Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitz told Army Radio on Saturday.

Aharonovitz said in several interviews in recent days that he believes the gunmen who carried out the shooting attacks would be apprehended soon, but did not specify whether the Palestinian National Authority or Israeli security forces would be the ones to nab the assailants.

Source: Xinhua


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