Gaza militants launch projectile at Israel amid increasing tensions

22:35, January 14, 2011      

Email | Print | Subscribe | Comments | Forum 

Palestinian gunmen on Friday fired a homemade rocket from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel despite an internal Palestinian agreement reached on Wednesday between Hamas and other factions over halting firing rockets at Israel.

Palestinian witnesses told Xinhua that unknown militants fired a homemade rocket from al-Garara village, east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, into Kissufim area near the Gaza Strip borders with Israel. Israeli army forces then fired back in response. No injuries have been reported and nobody has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Leaders of Hamas, the ruler of the enclave, and other factions in the Gaza Strip agreed in a meeting held in Gaza on Wednesday to halt firing rockets from the coastal enclave into southern Israel. They said that the deal was reached after Hamas received warnings that Israel is preparing to wage another war on Gaza.

On Thursday, deposed prime minister of Hamas Islamic Haneya called for an urgent meeting in Gaza with his cabinet members. Haneya ordered them to work on restoring clam in the region and respect the agreement over halting attacks on Israel in order to avoid another war.

Following the meeting on Thursday, Palestinian witnesses said they saw on Friday hundreds of Hamas security officers and policemen redeployed at areas closed to the Gaza Strop borders.

Meanwhile, Haneya on Thursday held a telephone conversation with chief of Egyptian intelligence Omar Suleiman on the situation in the Gaza Strip following the agreement on reinforcing clam in the enclave, an official statement issued by Haneya said.

The statement said that Haneya briefed Suleiman on the latest development and the measures that his government had taken within the last 24 hours, mainly the meeting between Hamas and leaders of Gaza factions and Haneya's meeting with his cabinet members.

"Prime Minister Haneya reiterated to Suleiman the importance of common cooperation between the government and Egypt to protect the Palestinian people and stop the Israeli assaults on them, and also on the importance of achieving the Palestinian unity," the statement said.

Palestinian observers are concerned that Hamas' efforts to avoid another Israeli offensive on the enclave would lead to a confrontation between Hamas forces and the militants who refused to respect the internal agreement.

Before Hamas seized control of Gaza following a week long of bloody infighting with security forces of Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Hamas and other armed groups had repeatedly violated deals reached between them over halting rockets at Israel.

Violence in the Gaza Strip mounted over the past few weeks, when several militant groups, mainly Islamic Jihad, fired rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel. And Israel retaliated by attacking targets mainly belong to Hamas and its armed wing posts.

Israel said that since Jan. 1, Gaza militants had fired more than 20 rockets, most of which landed in southern Israel. The Palestinians said that since earlier January, around six Palestinian militants were killed.

In late Dec. 2008, Israel waged a three-week military operation, Cast Lead, on the Gaza Strip after a six-month ceasefire between Israel and Hamas collapsed. The operation ended after the two sides agreed to renew another ceasefire deal. More than 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed during the operation.

Source: Xinhua

  • Do you have anything to say?


Special Coverage
  • Focus On China
  • Shanghai World Expo 2010
Major headlines
Editor's Pick
  • 'Three suns' appear together over sky in Changchun
  • Iced sea forces offshore activities to halt in E. China
  • Snow Foxes debut in wholly white Yuyuantan Park
  • Brazil storm death toll tops 500
  • Traditional carnival-like celebration popular in NW China
  • Japanese PM reshuffles Cabinet to tackle record public debt, boost cross-party talks
Hot Forum Dicussion