Hamas in retaliation launches over 35 rockets and mortars into Israel. Ha’aretz carries this account.
Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired 35 Qassam rockets at the western Negev before dawn on Wednesday, a day after an Israel Air Force strike in the southern Strip killed at least five militants and wounded several others.In spite of the Hamas bluster, the truly amazing thing is; what part of ‘don’t build tunnels into Israel’ can’t Hamas grasp? It was a violation which was begging for a response.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the rockets, which caused no reported injuries or damages. Two of the rockets exploded in the northern Negev city of Ashkelon, one struck a kibbutz in the western Negev and six others were located in open fields.
Also on Tuesday, an Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed a Hamas gunman and wounded two others on Tuesday in the first armed clash in the Gaza Strip since a cease-fire was declared in the territory in June, Palestinian medics said.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said troops had entered the territory to destroy a tunnel which Gaza militants had dug under the border to try to abduct soldiers.
According to Palestinian sources, the troops entered the area east of Deir el-Balah and carried out an operation at a house belonging to the Abu Hamam family. An exchange of fire took place between the troops and Hamas gunmen. Four IDF soldiers were wounded during the operation, two of them moderately. The others were lightly injured. Six mortar shells were also reportedly fired at Israel from Gaza on Tuesday.
"Qassam fighters are engaging in violent armed clashes with a Zionist (Israeli) force that raided east of central Gaza Strip," Hamas said in a statement on Tuesday. Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas' military wing, said in a text message to reporters that Hamas troops were engaged in a gunfight with Israeli forces in central Gaza. Hamas quickly vowed revenge for its losses. "Our response will be harsh, and the enemy will play a heavy price," Hamas said in a statement on its military wing's Web site.