Israel strikes Gaza 140 times, threatens new war

Casey GreeneAug 10, 2018

Rocket warning sirens sounded nearly non-stop in the southernIsraeli town of Sderot and other border communities from sunset on Wednesday.

Three Israelis were also injured from the strikes, none of which are believed to be serious.

In southern Israel, two Thai labourers were among the seven wounded by rocket fire, and rockets damaged buildings in the cities of Sderot and Ashkelon.

At least two Palestinians were wounded in raids aimed targeting a Hamas base in the southern Gaza Strip, the enclave's health ministry said. The Israeli military said its aircraft struck 140 facilities belonging to Hamas.

Hamas deputy chief Khalil Al-Hayya told Al Jazeera TV on Wednesday that United Nations and Egypt mediated talks to bring calm to the region were in "advanced stages." according to Reuters.

The escalation has taken place against a backdrop of indirect talks in Cairo on a long-term ceasefire plan.

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.

Islamic militant group Hamas has controlled the Gaza Strip since Israel disengaged from the region in 2005.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the deceased as 34-year-old Ali Ghandour, 23-year-old Inas Khamash, and her 18-month-old daughter, Bayan Khamash.

The escalation comes after the Hamas leadership convened for a rare meeting in Gaza on Friday. A member of the Hamas' armed wing was also killed.

On Tuesday, Israel struck a Hamas military post in Gaza, saying it was in response to militant fire at Israeli troops. Israel deployed its Iron Dome system and intercepted 11 launches, though several civilians were injured by shrapnel.

It said Israel was targeted by around 150 rockets from late Wednesday into Thursday.

The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, marking the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which this year coincided with the U.S. embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds. "If current escalation however is not contained immediately, the situation can rapidly deteriorate with devastating consequences for all people".

The gathering had raised hopes a deal for a lasting truce with Israel, with the backing of Egypt and the United Nations. "We are closing in on operation in Gaza", he said.

The nearly daily airborne arson attacks have been part of months of weekly border protests led by the Islamic militant group Hamas that rules Gaza aimed in part at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after it took control of the territory in 2007.

Tensions have been running high near the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests demanding the right to return for the Plaestinains driven out of their homeland. The protests have been aimed in part at trying to break the blockade.

The BBC report focused on this one event in its headline: "Israeli air strikes 'kill pregnant woman and child'".

Israel says it has been defending its sovereign border against infiltration attempts by Hamas.

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