Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Israel, Hamas face off in fresh Gaza conflict

09 July 2014, 09:14

Jerusalem - Israeli warplanes pounded targets in the Gaza Strip Wednesday as a major campaign to stop volleys of Palestinian rocket fire entered its second day, leaving 28 people dead and more than 100 wounded.

A strike on a home in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, claimed the lives of a commander of the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, his parents, a woman and two children, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Another strike early on Wednesday on the southern city of Rafah killed a young man.

The deaths brought to 28 the number of fatalities since the launch of Israel's Operation Protective Edge early on Tuesday, with the Jewish state not ruling out a ground operation to stop the rocket attacks.

Israeli air strikes took the lives of 24 people while four Hamas militants were killed staging a beachfront assault on an army base just north of the besieged Strip.

Loud explosions

During the day Israel staged multiple air strikes on the Gaza Strip, which also left more than 100 wounded, and militants from the Islamist movement Hamas hit back with rocket fire on Israel's major population centres in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in the most serious flare-up over Gaza since November 2012.

As sirens wailed across the Holy City, three loud explosions were heard and a series of flashes lit the sky to the southwest.

Police said one rocket fell in the vicinity of Ramat Raziel, about 10km from the city's south-western flank and two more fell in outlying areas, without elaborating.

Police spokesperson Luba Samri said there were no reports of injuries anywhere in the Jerusalem area.

The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, said it had fired four M75 rockets at Jerusalem, which lies 65km from the Palestinian enclave.

Abbas calls for international support

It also claimed to have launched a rocket at Haifa, 165 kilometres away.

There was no report of anything hitting the northern port city but the army said a rocket did fall on Hadera, 100 kilometres north of Gaza.

Hamas militants also said Tuesday they fired four rockets at Tel Aviv, 60 kilometres north of Gaza, setting sirens off across the city. Earlier, another rocket aimed at Israel's commercial capital was shot down by the Iron Dome anti-missile defence system.

Israeli authorities said that public bomb shelters in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem had been readied for use.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas has demanded Israel "immediately stop" its air campaign and called on the international community to pressure the Jewish state.

"The Palestinian Authority will go to all international organisations to seek protection for the Palestinian people," he said in a televised statement.

"Horrendous crime"

In Tuesday's worst strike, a missile slammed into a house in the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis killing eight people and wounding 25, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.

Witnesses said an Israeli drone fired a warning flare, prompting relatives and neighbours to gather at the house as a human shield. But an F-16 warplane fired a missile at the building, levelling it.

Hamas denounced the attack as "a horrendous war crime" and vowed retaliation against "all Israelis".

In addition, Israeli troops killed four Hamas militants who reached the Israeli coastline by sea and tried to attack an army base near Zikim.

"A number of terrorists came out of the ocean and attacked... with Kalashnikov rifles and hand grenades," said Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, who said they were all killed.

The attack was claimed by the Qassam Brigades.

40 000 reservists mobilised

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would "not tolerate the firing of rockets on our cities and towns".

"We have therefore significantly expanded our operations against Hamas and the other terrorist organisations in Gaza," he said in a statement.

His remarks came after the security cabinet approved the call-up of some 40 000 reservists, as a senior official told AFP the military was preparing all options to stamp out the rocket fire, "including an invasion or a ground operation".

"We have been instructed by the political echelon to hit Hamas hard," military spokesperson General Moti Almoz said in an interview with army radio. Two brigades were already stationed around Gaza, with more to join them in coming days.

Urgent UN Security Council meeting

Since 12 June, when the current round of tit-for-tat violence began, the army says hundreds of rockets have hit southern Israel, with another 40 intercepted.

So far, no Israelis have been injured or killed. Washington condemned the rocket fire as the "deliberate targeting of civilians" by militants and the European Union also denounced the "indiscriminate" fire from Gaza and the "growing number of civilian casualties... caused by Israeli retaliatory fire" and demanded an immediate ceasefire.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague urged Hamas to halt its attacks, while Turkey called for an immediate end to the Israel assault.

The Arab League, meanwhile, called for an urgent UN Security Council meeting on the crisis.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...