Israel pledges rocket attack reprisals

Israel's prime minister has condemned a rocket attack on an Israeli city as an escalation of "unprecedented gravity" and says there will be reprisals.

    The Palestinian interior ministry was hit for the second time

    "This [rocket] attack ... will have unprecedented, far-reaching consequences [and] the Hamas organisation will be the first to feel them," Ehud Olmert said.

     

    The rocket struck a school in the centre of the Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon on Tuesday evening, causing considerable damage but no casualties, the Israeli army said on Wednesday.

     

    The armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, has claimed responsibility for firing the rocket.

     

    Palestinian fighters frequently fire makeshift rockets into  southern Israel. They are generally inaccurate and have a maximum range of about 12km.

     

    However, the rocket fired in Wednesday's attack appeared to have a longer range than most previous ones, bringing the threat of rocket barrages to a large Israeli population centre for the first time.

     

    Deadline passes

     

    On Tuesday evening, Israeli aircraft struck the Palestinian interior ministry for the second time in a week.

    No one was hurt at the university
    in Gaza

    Rescue workers said at least four people were wounded in the strike and witnesses said a building next to the ministry was hit, causing some damage.

    Hamas controls the ministry, which has nominal authority over some Palestinian security forces.

    Israeli aircraft also fired missiles at a Hamas camp in southern Gaza and a Hamas-affiliated university in Gaza City. No one was hurt in either incident.

    The attacks came hours after a deadline set by Palestinian fighters holding an Israeli soldier passed, with Israel rejecting demands to release Palestinian prisoners.

    Fighters have been holding Corporal Gilad Shalit, 19, since June 25, when he was siezed in a cross-border raid which left two Israeli soldiers and two Palestinian fighters dead.

    Israel has responded with more than a week of air strikes and a large military force remains poised on the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.