Middle East
Israeli launches multiple air raids in Gaza
At least one Palestinian killed and 10 others injured after Israeli rockets hit the Gaza Strip.
Last Modified: 28 Dec 2011 08:19
An Israeli air strike earlier this month killed two men when it hit a car on a crowded Gaza street [REUTERS]

Israel has launched multiple air raids in the Gaza Strip, killing a former fighter and wounding at least 10 others, according to Palestinian officials.

The Israeli rocket on Tuesday hit a car parked next to a motorcycle belonging to the man.

Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian group, said the victim was a former member.

Another air attack hit a Hamas police vehicle and injured an officer and four others.

Palestinian medics said that a first raid killed Abdallah al-Telbani, 22, in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the north of the Gaza Strip. Two others were wounded but it was not clear if they were also in the same vehicle.

A second strike hit a jeep travelling east of Gaza City, injuring eight people, two of them seriously, Palestinian health ministry officials said.

The attacks were followed by the firing of a rocket from Gaza into southern Israel on Wednesday morning without exploding or causing any casualties or damage, Israeli police said.

"A rocket fired from Gaza fell this morning in the area of Shaar Hanegev. The device did not explode and there were no injuries or damage," Louba Samri, the police spokesperson, told the AFP news agency.

Israel said that Tuesday's raids targeted fighters planning cross-border attacks from neighbouring Egypt.

"Following the targeting of a global jihad affiliated terrorist and an additional member... aircraft targeted an additional terrorist squad affiliated with the global jihad terror movement," it said.

It said that a squad targeted in the second raid was known to the military, "due to its attempt in carrying out a terror attack on the Israel-Egypt border," but did not elaborate.

On December 8, shortly after Israeli troops went on high alert along the border over fears a fresh squad of gunmen had crossed into southern Israel, Israeli aircraft killed two men in Gaza City.

"The Israel Defence Forces will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and... soldiers, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the state of Israel," the military statement said.

The latest air strikes came as Hamas and the rival Fatah of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas sought to implement a reconciliation deal.

Since 2007, the Palestinian territories have been politically divided into two separate territories, with Fatah largely ruling the West Bank and Hamas governing Gaza.

In May the two factions signed a unity agreement which has yet to be implemented.

Three years on

The last Israeli security operation inside the Gaza Strip was on December 11, when a Palestinian father and his daughter were wounded in a raid.

Two days earlier, a man and his 12-year-old son were killed and 10 civilians wounded when an Israeli air strike hit a family home in Gaza City.

On December 27, 2008 Israel started an assault on Gaza codenamed Operation Cast Lead, by launching air raids that killed more than 225 Palestinians.

The attacks continued until late January 2009, killing about 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians. A UN investigation later found that Israel had committed war crimes.

Amnesty International, the UK-based human rights group, also accused Israel of war crimes, saying its use of white phosphorus munitions in densely populated areas of the Gaza Strip was indiscriminate and illegal.

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