Rocket barrage from Gaza hits Israel, no one hurt: police

JERUSALEM Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:37pm EDT

Israeli onlookers survey the damage caused by a rocket which was fired from the Gaza Strip and landed in the southern Israeli town of Sderot March 12, 2014. REUTERS/Ilan Assayag

Israeli onlookers survey the damage caused by a rocket which was fired from the Gaza Strip and landed in the southern Israeli town of Sderot March 12, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Ilan Assayag

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired more than 30 rockets into Israel on Wednesday, the Israeli military said, in the heaviest such barrage in two years.

The rocket fire, which police said caused no casualties, was claimed by the Islamic Jihad group and came a day after Israel killed three of its members in a Gaza air strike.

A military spokesman said more than 30 rockets hit Israel, "in a simultaneous coordinated attack", and that eight landed in built-up areas.

Israeli forces fired tank shells in response at what the spokesman described as "two terrorist locations" in the Gaza Strip. There were no immediate reports from the Palestinian enclave of any casualties.

"It's a (rocket) barrage such as we haven't seen for two years," Haim Yellin, a local Israeli municipal official in the south, told Army Radio, referring to an eight-day war between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza in November 2012.

Sirens sounded in several communities across southern Israel to alert residents to take shelter and general warnings were given urging everyone in the area to remain indoors.

"It appears as though the waves of rockets have come in response to our preventive operations of yesterday," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.

"We shall continue to thwart and attack those who seek to attack us, and shall act against them with great force."

Describing the incident on Tuesday in which three Islamic Jihad militants were killed, the military said they were targeted after they fired mortar bombs at Israeli soldiers.

Islamic Jihad said at the time that its men had died confronting Israeli troops who had entered the Gaza Strip.

Commenting on Wednesday's barrage, Islamic Jihad said it had fired 90 rockets toward Israel and named the operation "Breaking the Silence".

Palestinian officials said that after the rocket strikes, Israel had informed them that it was closing the Kerem Shalom crossing, through which goods pass into the Gaza Strip, until further notice.

Israel pulled its soldiers and settlers out of the territory, now run by Hamas Islamists, in 2005. But it maintains a naval and air blockade and severely restricts the overland movement of people and goods across the volatile border.

(Reporting by Jeffrey Heller and Allyn Fisher-Ilan in Jerusalem and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

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Comments (3)
Reuters1945 wrote:
Had this rocket barrage been launched from the 1967 lines, the rockets would have struck the hearts of Jerusalem and/or Tel Aviv in less than 30 (Thirty) seconds resulting in massive numbers of casualties, dead and wounded.

This is simply another reminder as to why the perpetual Arab demands for Israel to pull back to the 1967 lines is a total non-starter and dead in the water- and will remain so.

The State of Israel does not need to waste time and energy to make the case that Israel needs to have defensible borders. The Islamic Jihad, Hamas, et al, all constantly remind the entire world of their constant desire to rain down death and destruction on the people of Israel.

One day Israel’s enemies will go one step too far and provoke an Israeli response that Israel’s enemies will live to regret. But then self-Martyrdom is the “raison d’ĂȘtre” of such groups.

One cannot save people from themselves- n’est ce pas !

Mar 12, 2014 1:36pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
franknolo wrote:
Had this rocket barrage been possible from a position along the 1967 border, Israel would have never attempted to murder three more palestinians to provoke it.

Additionally, Israel need not worry about 1967 borders, because arabs can finish israel from 5,000 miles away with only 10 seconds warning for Israelis. They need not be on Israels doorstep to accomplish it.

One day the muslims will finally respond to israel in a way that Israel will live to regret. But then, the self-maryrdom is the official smotto of the state of Israel

Mar 12, 2014 2:01pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
MikeHockey wrote:
at frank NO Clue nolo, shut up & stop posting PLEASE you must either be a complete idiot or drunk!! Anyone who commits terrorism by firing into civilian centers will face the consequences of liquidation at the hands of Israel of or the U.S. Long live Israel!!!

Mar 12, 2014 2:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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