Israelis attack Gaza Strip
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli air and ground forces began a series of attacks on Tuesday on targets across the Gaza Strip, killing a young girl and wounding 10 in response to the deadly shooting of an Israeli civilian by a Palestinian sniper.
It was the heaviest burst of violence in the volatile area since November 2012, when Israel and Hamas' rulers engaged in eight days of heavy fighting. The sudden flare-up threatened a cease-fire that halted that fighting and which largely has held up for the past 13 months.
“I recommend to Hamas not to test our patience and to assert its authority,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said. “If there isn't quiet in Israel, there won't be quiet in the Gaza Strip.”
The Israeli military said aircraft, tanks and infantry targeted “terror sites” in Gaza, including a weapons-manufacturing facility, “terror infrastructure” and a concealed rocket launcher.
“Direct hits were confirmed,” it said.
Palestinian officials reported at least 16 Israeli attacks, causing a series of loud explosions across the territory in rapid succession. Hamas ordered its forces to evacuate offices and compounds and redeploy to safer sites.
Hamas Health Ministry official Ashraf al-Kidra said an airstrike in central Gaza killed a 3-year-old girl and wounded three relatives, including two young siblings. In all, 10 people were wounded, he said. He said an earlier report of a second death was wrong, and that the wounded man was in serious condition at a hospital.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri condemned what he called “cowardly” Israeli attacks. “The occupation will not terrify the Palestinian people by these actions and will not punish our resistance and will not halt its readiness to respond to any attacks on Gaza,” he said.
Israel began the airstrikes shortly after a Gaza sniper shot an Israeli civilian laborer as he performed maintenance work on the border fence. The man was airlifted to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The incident occurred as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was visiting the nearby town of Sderot, a frequent target of Palestinian attacks, to inaugurate a rail line.
“This is a very severe incident and we will not let it go unanswered,” Netanyahu said. “Our policy until now has been to act beforehand and to respond in force, and this is how we will act regarding this incident as well.”
Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an Israeli military spokesman, expressed hope that the quiet would be restored but said the military remained ready for any scenario.
“We're not looking for an escalation on the border with Gaza,” he said. “But we're not willing to have shots fired at us from across the fence, killing our civilians.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Iraqi terrorists are Islam’s enemy, Saudi cleric warns
- Kiev attacks on 2 fronts; Poroshenko preps to meet Merkel, Putin
- Mideast crisis goes ‘from bad to worse’ as truce shatters
- Afghanistan’s bid for transition tenuous
- Rebels boast of new Russian support
- Elephant deaths skyrocket in Africa, study finds
- Dozens killed in shelling of convoy, Ukraine says; U.S. unsure who’s responsible
- Crisis puts Pakistan army back in game
- Israel: Rockets fired from Gaza, cease-fire broken
- Obama OKs airstrikes in northern Iraq as militants advance
- Japan’s Abe walks fine line on anniversary of World War II defeat