Israel: IDF launches airstrike in Gaza strip after rockets land in southern Israel

Recent tensions in the region are rooted over access to a religious site in Jerusalem sacred to both Jews and Muslims.
By Fred Lambert Contact the Author   |  Oct. 11, 2015 at 6:05 PM
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JERUSALEM, Oct. 11 (UPI) -- Israel says it launched an airstrike in the Gaza Strip Sunday after absorbing rocket fire from the region.

The BBC quoted the Israeli Defense Force as saying the strike targeted a weapon-making facility used by Hamas militants after rockets from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel, causing no damage or injuries.

Gaza officials say the resulting airstrike killed civilians in a nearby house.

"Israel is committing massacres against the Palestinian people," The Jerusalem Post quoted Hamas senior official Ismail Radwan as saying. "An innocent civilian's house was bombed which killed a woman and her child."

Israeli army spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner is reported to have said the "IDF holds Hamas responsible for any act of aggression from the Gaza Strip."

The incident adds to a recent wave of regional violence rooted in access to a religious site sacred to both Jews and Muslims. Palestinians fear Israel will change arrangements at the al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem following visits by Jewish groups, including politicians, to the site, where non-Muslim prayer is forbidden. Israel has insisted it will not change the arrangement.

Several Palestinians have been reported killed in riots, including on Saturday, when two Palestinian boys, Marwan Barbakh, 13, and Omar Othman, 15, were shot dead by Israeli troops during confrontations in southern Gaza -- less than 24 hours after IDF forces killed six Palestinians during protests at the border.

The IDF says "a thousand rioters infiltrated the buffer zone" and were attempting to storm the border fence while burning tires and throwing rocks and grenades.

The Jerusalem Post reports 332 Palestinians were wounded in clashes with security forces in Gaza and the West Bank on Sunday alone.

The airstrike comes the same day a 20-year-old Arab Israeli is reported to have ran his car into a female soldier and stabbed three Israelis near Hadera.

A Palestinian women, meanwhile, reportedly blew herself up Sunday using a gas cylinder and flammable materials at a Gaza checkpoint.

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