[QODLink]
Middle East

Israel air strike wounds two in Gaza

IDF say a member of Palestinian Islamic Jihad was injured in the attack, which also hurt a 12-year-old boy.

Last updated: 19 Jan 2014 09:49
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Israeli army air raided Gaza overnight in retaliation against a rocket attack on southern Israel, it said [AFP]

Two Palestinians have been injured when they were hit by an air strike on Gaza, amid reports that Tel Aviv has plans to escalate attacks on the strip.

Israeli rockets targeted a motorcycle in Gaza's northern neighbourhood of Saftawi on Sunday, leaving its rider, a 22-year-old man, in critical condition. 

Israel confirmed the attack in a statement issued by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF). The motorcycle passenger was identified by the IDF as Ahmad Sa'ad, who it accuses of being a senior operative in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PJI) and who it says is to blame for cross-border rocket attacks last week.

"The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) successfully targeted a terrorist operative involved in recent attacks against Israel and was planning further attacks in the coming days," it said in a statement.

The Israeli military blames Sa'ad for firing five rockets towards southern Israel on January 16. The rockets were intercepted by the army's Iron Dome anti-missile system. The rockets caused no injuries or damage. 

"The IDF operated in order to eliminate an imminent threat to the lives of Israeli civilians," the IDF statement said.

Another victim was a 12-year-old boy who happened to be nearby, Gaza emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Threats of attacks

There was no confirmation from Gaza that the wounded man was Sa’ad or that he belonged to PJI, with sources in the movement also refusing to comment on the strike.

The morning strike followed two more overnight, and amid fears that the strip will witness an escalation in attacks in near future.

An Egyptian mediator delievered a threat message from Israel to Gaza's leadership, sources have told Al Jazeera. 

On January 8, an PJI fighter was killed near Gaza City in what medics and family said was an Israeli drone strike, but the army denied any involvement.

Since the start of the year, tensions have risen in and around Gaza after a year of relative calm, with five people killed since December 20. Four of the victims were Palestinian and one was Israeli.

Since January 1, eight rockets fired from Gaza have landed in Israel with another five intercepted by Iron Dome last Thursday.

362

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
The author argues that in the new economy, it's people, not skills or majors, that have lost value.
Colleagues of detained Al Jazeera journalists press demands for their release, 100 days after their arrest in Egypt.
Mehdi Hasan discusses online freedoms and the potential of the web with Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.
A tight race seems likely as 814 million voters elect leaders in world's largest democracy next week.
Featured
Since independence, Zimbabwe has faced food shortages, hyperinflation - and several political crises.
After a sit-in protest at Poland's parliament, lawmakers are set to raise government aid to carers of disabled youth.
A vocal minority in Ukraine's east wants to join Russia, and Kiev has so far been unable to put down the separatists.
Iran's government has shifted its take on 'brain drain' but is the change enough to reverse the flow?
Deadly attacks on anti-mining activists in the Philippines part of a global trend, according to new report.
join our mailing list