Israel strikes Hamas, threatens more action

Updated on May 19, 2007 01:20 PM IST
Israel struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Friday and threatened more strong action to stop rocket attacks while Palestinian rival factions fought each other in turmoil verging on civil war.
HT Image
HT Image
Reuters | By, Gaza

Israel struck Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Friday and threatened more strong action to stop rocket attacks while Palestinian rival factions fought each other in turmoil verging on civil war.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose Fatah faction has been accused by Hamas of siding with Israel, called US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and asked her to halt an Israeli 'military escalation', a Palestinian news agency said.

A Palestinian hospital official said at least one man was killed and others were wounded when Israeli helicopter gunships fired on them after they launched a rocket into Israel.

The military said it attacked a rocket crew in northern Gaza and that 10 missiles had struck Israel. One hit a house in the town of Sderot. Medics said there were only minor injuries.

Hours later, Israeli aircraft bombed a Hamas-owned van in Gaza City. Two militants were killed, hospital officials said. Five other air strikes wounded four Palestinians, two of them Hamas men and the others civilians, hospital officials said.
Fatah and Hamas forces, locked in fighting for the past week, battled again in Gaza City. Three rocket-propelled grenades were fired at the pro-Hamas Islamic University campus.

Two militants -one from each side were killed, hospital officials said. A fisherman was also killed after being caught in crossfire. Hospital officials said two other civilians died from wounds sustained during internal clashes earlier this week.

Abu Dhabi Television's Gaza station said Hamas gunmen kidnapped bureau chief Abdel Salam Abu Askar, and released him shortly afterwards. Hamas denied involvement.

Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, called on Palestinians to unite against "Israeli aggression" and cease internal fighting.
"All members of the security services should abide by the instructions of the political leadership and return to their positions and bases, and also all gunmen should pull out of the streets," Haniyeh told reporters.

Truces agreed by the Islamist Hamas and the more secular Fatah over the past week have collapsed swiftly. Nearly 50 people have died in the deadliest internal violence since the two rival groups formed a unity government in March.

Vibrant measures

In Tel Aviv, Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told foreign ambassadors the government might decide on further action within days and noted the cabinet would meet as usual on Sunday.
"We will see sustained and vibrant measures to end the rocket attacks and remove the threat to southern Israel," government spokesman David Baker said.

Israeli forces have recently completed training for a possible ground offensive in Gaza, from which they and Israeli settlers withdrew in 2005.

Tanks and some other troops took up positions just inside the crowded coastal enclave on Thursday in a move the military called "defensive".

At least 11 Hamas fighters have been killed in Israeli strikes since early on Thursday. Militants from Gaza have fired about 100 rockets at the town of Sderot and its surroundings in the past week, causing several injuries but no deaths.

For too long the international community took this situation in the southern part of Israel as acceptable, as part of life in Israel, and it's not. Enough is enough," Livni said, saying there was a need to put pressure "on these terrorists".

Abbas was quoted by Wafa news agency as asking Rice "to stop the Israeli military escalation against our people and continue their efforts to push the peace process forward".

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • The auctioning of abandoned contents is a common practice for storage units with unpaid bills.

    Human remains 'found in suitcases' sold at N. Zealand auction

    New Zealand police have begun a homicide investigation after human remains were allegedly found stashed in suitcases that were bought at an auction in the country's largest city Auckland. Read New Zealand welcomes back first cruise ship since Covid-19 pandemic began Residents at a home in South Auckland called police last Thursday after making the grisly discovery, police official Tofilau Faamanuia Vaaelua confirmed.

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    Putin slams US for whipping up Asian tensions with Taiwan visit and AUKUS pact

    Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the United States on Tuesday of whipping up tensions in Asia, describing a visit to Taiwan by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as a "thoroughly planned provocation". In a speech to a Moscow security conference, Putin also cited the AUKUS security pact between Australia, Britain and the United States as evidence of Western attempts to build a NATO-style bloc in the Asia-Pacific region.

  • China’s research and survey vessel, the Yuan Wang 5, docked at Hambantota port in Sri Lanka on Tuesday. (AFP)

    Chinese tracking ship docks at Sri Lankan port; Beijing says third party should not ‘obstruct’ cooperation

    China on Tuesday said the docking of a Chinese missile and spacecraft tracking ship in the southern Sri Lankan port of Hambantota for replenishment will not affect the security interests of any country and should not be “obstructed” by a third party, in an apparent reference to India. The docking of the ship comes a day after India handed over a Dornier maritime surveillance aircraft to the Sri Lanka Navy. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson, Wang Wenbin then reiterated the point.

  • China takes steps to make fertility treatment more accessible.

    China to discourage abortions, aims at boosting the low birth rate

    China will discourage abortions and take steps to make fertility treatment more accessible as part of efforts to boost one of the world's lowest birth rates, its National Health Authority said on Tuesday. China's fertility rate of 1.16 in 2021 was far below the 2.1 OECD standard for a stable population and among the lowest in the world. Technology such as IVF is typically very expensive in China and not accessible to unmarried women.

  • Even before Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry formally announced its decision to allow the Yuan Wang 5’s visit on August 13, there was a feeling in New Delhi that Colombo would not be able to stand up to the pressure from Beijing, the people said. (AFP Photo)

    China won’t be allowed to use Hambantota for ‘military purposes’: Wickremesinghe

    Against the backdrop of growing concerns in India over a Chinese surveillance vessel's visit to Hambantota port, Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe has said China will not be allowed to use the facility for “military purposes”. Both India and the US had expressed concerns about the call by the vessel, used by the People's Liberation Army to track satellites and ballistic missiles.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now