Israel Launches Missile Attacks on Gaza

The Israel Air Force (IAF) launched missile attacks Sunday Monday morning on Gaza city, striking targets of the Palestinian security forces and radio and television stations.

Several IAF Apache helicopters fired at least 16 air-to-air missiles towards various selected targets in the city shortly after midnight.

Initial reports said more than a dozen people were wounded, two seriously, in the attack, and at least five houses were severely damaged.

The missile attacks lasted for more than half an hour and the Palestinian radio and televisions as well as buildings of the Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's personal guard "Force 17" inside the city were hit, Palestinian officials and witnesses said.

Palestinian ambulances and medical teams are rushing to the scenes, but could not immediately enter the sites for fear of more missile attacks, the officials and witnesses added.

Meanwhile, the Israel army tanks and navy ships shelled a Palestinian security office in the refugee camp of Nusseirat in the south of the Gaza Strip.

Israeli army officials said on condition of anonymity that the missle attack came in retaliation for recent Palestinian mortar attacks on Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip.

Loud booms could be heard around the Gaza city as the Israeli helicopters fired the missiles at the Palestinian security headquarters some 100 meters from Arafat's office and another security point nearby.

Headquarters of Arafat's mainstream Fatah movement were also targeted.

Besides striking the targets in Gaza city, the Israeli army helicopters also fired missiles at Palestinian security points in Khan Yunis and Deir Balah, in the south of the strip, Palestinian officials said.

The attacks were the heaviest by Israel against Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip so far, they said.

The Israeli army launched several missile attacks against the Palestinian targets in the Gaza Strip during the past several months, and the latest attack was on April 17, targeting the "Force 17" and other locations in Gaza city.

People's Daily Online ---