Palestinians Fire Dozens of Rockets at Israel

November 6, 2008 at 2:00 am Leave a comment

palesinian-rockets-fired.jpgHamas militants in
the Gaza Strip fired more than 35 rockets toward Israel Wednesday, the
army and the Islamist group said, hours after the Israeli army killed
six militants in the coastal territory.

An Israeli police spokesman said the rockets landed in southern Israel, causing no damage or injuries.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attacks, the first such
announcement by the Islamist group since an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire
with Israel went into effect on June 19.

Palestinian officials said they had been informed by Israel that all commercial border crossings with the Gaza Strip would remain closed Wednesday in response to the rocket attacks.

Israeli airstrikes killed five militants and Israeli soldiers shot dead
a gunman during an incursion into the Gaza Strip Tuesday.

The army said it launched the airstrikes after militants attacked
soldiers who entered the Gaza Strip to destroy a tunnel that Hamas had
planned to use to kidnap Israeli soldiers.

The latest violence could jeopardize Egyptian efforts to extend the
fragile ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and further complicate Cairo’s
efforts to secure the release of an Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas
two years ago.

Hamas has said it would release soldier Gilad Shalit
in return for hundreds of Palestinians held by Israel for their
involvement in violent attacks against Israeli civilians during a Palestinian uprising.

Israel has agreed in principle to a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas
but Israeli officials have had reservations about the idea of releasing
prisoners “with blood on their hands.”

Also at stake are efforts by the Arab world to reconcile the
Palestinian Fatah and Hamas factions during a summit in Cairo next week.

Relations between the two rivals soured two years ago when Hamas won a
parliamentary election. A year later, Hamas seized control of the Gaza
Strip from Fatah forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas who holds sway in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Hamas opposes Abbas’s peace talks with Israel that Washington launched
a summit in Annapolis, Maryland, last year with the hope of shepherding
the two sides toward a deal before President George W. Bush leaves office in January.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives in the region Thursday in a bid to salvage the peace process that has so far shown little signs of a breakthrough.

President elect Barack Obama has said resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict would be a top priority for his administration.

Source: AP

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Entry filed under: Second Coming Watch/World. Tags: , , , , , , .

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