Jerusalem/Gaza, July 8 (IANS): The Israeli Air Force (IAF) struck targets in the Gaza Strip Monday afternoon as Palestinian militants in the coastal enclave continued lobbing rockets into southern Israel throughout the day, Xinhua reported.
IAF aircraft struck three underground rocket launchers in northern Gaza in response to heavy barrages of 40 rockets and mortars that had been fired since the morning, with one Grad rocket landing near the city of Beersheba, 50 km from the Gaza border, the military said in a statement. “Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said that seven of its members were killed in a strike in Rafah. The spokesman for the Brigades said Israel would pay the price. ”
Most of the Hamas rockets exploded in open areas, and so far no injuries or damage were reported.
Over 240 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza since three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and murdered in the West Bank last month, the army statement said.
Overnight, Israel struck 14 Gaza targets in response to its 25 rockets and 14 projectiles hit Israel throughout Sunday and night.
Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, said that seven of its members were killed in a strike in Rafah. The spokesman for the Brigades said Israel would pay the price.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that the Palestinian leadership won’t keep silent for the endless Israeli crimes committed against the Palestinian people.
Later, the Israeli military said a rocket had struck near the city of Beersheba, 50km (30 miles) from Gaza. An Israeli military patrol had also been attacked near the security fence along the border with Gaza, apparently with an anti-tank missile and fire-arms, it added.
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said his Yisreael Beitenu party was abandoning plans to merge with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud, citing differences over how to confront Hamas and the rocket fire.