Senior Israeli officer among seven killed in Gaza

Sergio Cunningham
November 13, 2018

"What is being done by the Palestinian resistance proves that it is prepared and ready to defend the Palestinians", Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Sunday.

At least 100 were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, according to the Israel Defense Forces. Hamas's armed wing threatened to step up its rocket attacks if Israel continued its strikes.

The Israeli military responded by dispatching fighter jets to strike "terror targets" throughout the Gaza Strip, in what was shaping up to be one of the most serious rounds of fighting since the devastating 2014 Gaza war. The burials of several of those killed were led by Hamas leader in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh. The deployment of back-up ground forces to the Gaza border is a clear Israeli threat to move beyond air power, and launch a land offensive, should the escalation continue.

Israel and Egypt have maintained a blockade on Gaza since the Hamas takeover, a blockade that has devastated Gaza's economy. On the Israeli side of the border, a guided missile destroyed a bus, critically wounding a soldier, and shelling struck at least two homes, authorities said.

The Israeli military said militants launched 17 rockets from Gaza toward Israeli communities, where school was cancelled in response. The clashes killed an Israeli lieutenant colonel and prompted Israeli airstrikes and a salvo of rocket fire from Gaza toward Israel.

Relatives of Hamad al-Nahal, a member of the Islamic Jihad killed in an Israeli airstrike on the Gaza Strip a day earlier, carry his body during his funeral in Rafah, on November 13, 2018.

Violence has flared between Israel and Gaza, a day after seven militants and an Israeli soldier were killed amid an undercover Israeli operation in Gaza.

The body of a man, killed when a rocket hit the home, was next to her.

The Israeli Army confirmed that one of its officers was killed and another was injured.

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As of 7 a.m Tuesday morning, Gaza terrorists fired between 300-400 rockets at Israel since Monday afternoon.

More than 170 demonstrators, most unarmed, have been killed by Israeli army fire in the confrontations in which some of the participants threw stones, burned tires or threw grenades toward Israeli forces.

In recent weeks, Egyptian and United Nations mediators had appeared to make progress in brokering informal understandings aimed at quieting the situation.

Following security consultations Monday evening at Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv with the defense minister, chief of staff and other senior defense officials, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the IDF the green light to retaliate heavily to the rocket barrages.

The attack follows an operation in the southern Gaza Strip which led to the deaths of at least seven Palestinians, including Hamas commander, and one Israeli officer, while another Israeli trooper was wounded.

The prospects for progress appeared bright at the weekend after Israel permitted US$15 million in cash from Qatar into Gaza to pay long-delayed salaries of the Hamas-Government's civil servants to ease the suffering of the territory's two million residents and reduce tension. Israel has accused Hamas of using the noisy protests as a cover for militants to sneak into Israel.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars in 10 years, with flare-ups becoming increasingly frequent in recent months as Hamas has urged residents to protest at the fence along the border with Israel.

The IDF attacked more than 70 targets in the Gaza Strip, including the Hamas television station.

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