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Israel-Gaza Tensions Escalate With Israeli Airstrikes
Tensions between Gaza and Israel have been escalating with the latest news of retaliatory airstrikes by Israel at Palestinian targets in Gaza making direct hits on a “terror tunnel” and a weapons storage facility. The attacks were in retaliation of at least 100 missiles launched by militants from Gaza towards Israel. Israeli officials reported that on Monday, a Palestinian rocket struck a house in southern Israel.
Fighting has been going on for over three days and nights with at least six Palestinians, including four civilians dead and about 40 wounded. On the other side, eight Israelis have been wounded in the attacks across the borders.
Ahead of January 2013 elections, the conservative government in Israel is in no mood to tolerate offensive strikes from Palestinian militant units, and Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon told Israel’s Army Radio, “We have a full box of tools … that we have not yet used.”
On Saturday, a Palestinian missile strike hit close to an Israel army patrol jeep and wounded four Israeli troops. Yesterday night’s retaliatory airstrikes by Israel on Gaza followed the news. According to the CNN, a military representative of Israel has said, “The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians, and will operate against anyone who uses terror against the State of Israel … The Hamas terror organization is solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza strip.”
Even though Hamas, which rules Gaza, has been the prime outfit engaged in guerilla tactics and warfare, the recent spate of militant attacks show other Islamic militant units have joined the fray. Many missiles fired on Monday’s strike were claimed to have been launched by a radical Salafi organization, the Shoura Council of the Mujahedeen.