03/13/2014, 00.00
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Israeli air raid on Gaza follows barrage of Islamic Jihad missiles

by Joshua Lapide
Militant brigade claims 130 rockets were launched, Israel claim 41. Israeli planes target "29 terrorist sites”. No casualties on either side. Lieberman proposes another occupation of Gaza.

Jerusalem ( AsiaNews) - The Islamic Jihad based in Gaza yesterday launched dozens of rockets into southern Israel, hitting residential areas. Claiming the attack, the radical militant group boasted that it launched 130 "missiles" in response to an Israeli air attack on March 11 that had killed three of its members.

The Israeli army stated last night that in total '41 missiles were launched... five have fallen on populated areas and three were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system".

In retaliation, yesterday evening, some Israeli air strikes hit "29 terrorist sites", bases belonging to the Al Qods Brigade and Ezzedine al Qassam - in northern and southern Gaza Strip.

Both boast of having avoided any civilian casualties. The Israeli army said that "thousands of Israelis who live in the region have had to hide in shelters" Islamic Jihad said that the fighters had evacuated all their bases before the raid.

Initial reports seem to verify that there were no victims on either side. Hamas and Israel accuse each other of violating a ceasefire agreed in November 2012.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to "continue to target those who wish us harm". Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister, said that Israel has no other choice but to reoccupy Gaza.

Israel occupied the Gaza Strip until 2005; in 2007 it passed under the rule of the Islamist group Hamas. Although it withdrew settlers and troops from the territory, Israel continues to maintain a naval and air blockade, along with controls and restrictions for the passage of people and goods.


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