Palestine: Gazan killed in fresh Israeli airstrike

18th Oct 2018
Palestine: Gazan killed in fresh Israeli airstrike

By Nour Abu Aisha and Hani al-Shaer

 

GAZA CITY, Palestine (AA): A Palestinian man was killed, 14 injured, including six school children, in a fresh Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

In a statement, the ministry identified the victim as Naji al-Za’anin, 25, in the attack that targeted the northern city of Beit Lahia.

The Israeli airforce dropped bombs in several parts of Gaza Wednesday morning, wounding 14 Palestinians in addition to killing Za’anin, including six schoolchildren, in Deir al-Balah city, in central Gaza, before they were rushed to the Al-Aqsa Hospital.

The Israeli military confirmed the airstrike, saying it targeted a group of Palestinians trying to fire rockets into Israeli territory.

Early Wednesday, the Israeli army carried out a series of airstrikes in Gaza in response to rocket fire, injuring three people, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

In a statement, the military said it bombed 20 targets throughout Gaza, including an underground tunnel, going on to hold Palestinian group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, responsible for the escalation.

“There are only two organizations in Gaza that have this caliber of rocket: Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” said military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus. “It’s not hard to narrow down who’s behind it.”

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman also announced that all crossings into Gaza were being shut and the fishing zone around the Palestinian territory was being limited.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for his part, vowed to “act with great force” against Gaza after the rocket fire.

“Israel views with utmost gravity the attacks against it on the fence, adjacent to the Gaza Strip, Be’er Sheva – everywhere,” he said following a security assessment at the army’s Gaza Division.

“I said, at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, that if these attacks do not stop – we will stop them,” he said, “I want to tell you today as well – Israel will take very strong action,” he added.

Since March, more than 200 Palestinians have been killed and thousands more injured by Israeli army fire in anti-occupation protests along Gaza border.

Demonstrators demand an end to Israel’s 12-year Gaza blockade and the right to return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

[Photo: Relatives mourn over the death of Naji al-Za’anin, 25, killed in a fresh Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip, during his funeral ceremony in Gaza City on October 17, 2018. Photographer: Ali Jadallah/AA]

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