GAZA Nov 15 Israeli aircraft attacked targets
throughout the Gaza Strip on Thursday night, unleashing dozens
of strikes in swift succession according to Reuters witnesses.
The aerial bombardment set off earth-shaking thuds and
fireballs in the dark sky and were met with screeches of
Palestinian rocket fire launched from the outskirts of Gaza City
towards southern Israel.
The airstrikes marked an escalation of two days of
reciprocal attacks between the Palestinian militant Hamas group
ensconced in the coastal enclave and the Israeli military, which
killed a top Islamist leader on Wednesday.
Israel's military said that in the space of an hour it had
targeted approximately 70 underground launching sites for
"The sites that have been targeted were positively
identified by precise intelligence collected over the course of
months." it said in a statement.
Residents said the military assault also destroyed an
electricity generator that fed the house of Hamas's prime
minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh. It was unclear whether he was
at home at the time.
Israeli aircraft also bombed a police station in central
Gaza and tunnels on Gaza's border with Egypt through which basic
civilian goods and arms destined for militant groups pass into
the Strip, which is under a tight blockade by Israel and Egypt.
Hours earlier, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, another armed party
in Gaza, launched two missiles against Tel Aviv -- the first
time Israel's commercial capital has come under such attack
since the 1991 Gulf War. No injuries or damage was reported.