Hamas claims missile hit Israeli army base

Jan. 9, 2009 at 11:35 AM
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GAZA, Jan. 9 (UPI) -- Hamas officials said al-Qassam grad rockets hit Tel Nof, a key Israeli airbase near Tel Aviv, Hamas-affiliated media reported Friday.

Meanwhile, Israeli cabinet officials said its military operation in Gaza would continue, Ynetnews.com said, despite a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire.

The airbase is on the outskirts of Rehovot, an Israeli city to the south of Jerusalem, al-Aqsa television said. Tel Nof is home to a number of Israeli fighter and helicopter squadrons as well as several special military units.

Israel also reportedly stores nuclear weapons in and around the base, Press TV in Iran said.

Regarding its military campaign, the Cabinet issued a statement saying Israel had a right to defend its citizens, so the military would continue its operation in Gaza "to complete its mission, which is to bring about a change in the security situation in south Israel in accordance with plans that had been approved prior to the launching of the offensive."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Friday after the meeting, "The (Hamas) rocket attacks this morning on the residents of the south only prove that the U.N.'s resolution is not practical and will not be upheld by the Palestinian murder organizations."

Palestinian medical personnel said 10 Palestinians were killed in the air attack. About 770 Palestinians and 13 Israelis have been killed since Israel began its air and ground assault Dec. 27. Israel said the operation was to end Hamas's rocket fire on Israeli targets.

The U.N. Security Council Thursday passed a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, saying it was concerned about the growing humanitarian crisis and civilian casualties.

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