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Mar 13, 2014:
Israel has launched fresh airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip in the latest round of tit-for-tat violence in the occupied territories.
The airstrikes hit the southern city of Rafah near the Egyptian border, injuring several Palestinians there. Earlier in the day, rocket fire from the coastal territory struck two major cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod in southern Israel. The shelling set off sirens and sent Israelis scrambling for cover. The escalation began on Tuesday, when an Israeli airstrike killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The incident then sparked a series of retaliatory attacks between the two sides, with a barrage of rockets fired by Palestinians, followed by Israeli airstrikes hitting dozens of targets across Gaza. The Israeli foreign minister has called for the full re-occupation of Gaza in the wake of the violence.
Mar 12, 2014:
Israel Launches Airstrike On Gaza Strip
The Israeli regime has launched an airstrike against the besieged Gaza Strip following a retaliatory attack by Palestinian resistance movement, Islamic Jihad, eyewitnesses say.
According to witnesses, Israeli warplanes hit several locations in the coastal enclave on Wednesday, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
On Tuesday, three Palestinians lost their lives after an Israeli drone carried out an airstrike on the city of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip.
The Islamic Jihad responded to the aggression by “a volley of rockets,” which Tel Aviv called the largest such incident since 2012, when it launched an eight-day air assault on the Gaza Strip.
Israel launched a major military offensive against the besieged Gaza Strip on November 14, 2012, leaving over 160 Palestinians, including many women and children, dead and about 1,200 others injured.
The 1.7 million Palestinians of the Gaza Strip are living in what is called the world’s largest open-air prison as Israel retains full control of the airspace, territorial waters, and border crossings of the coastal sliver.
The Israeli military also frequently launches attacks in the coastal enclave, claiming they are conducted for defensive purposes. However, disproportionate force is always used in violation of international law, and civilians are often killed or injured.
Islamic Jihad vows continued resistance against Israel.
“Our weapons of resistance…are not for rent. Our weapons are for the sake of Palestine and we shall not lay them down until we achieve the goal of liberating Palestine,” Ramadan Abdullah Mohammad Shalah said on Thursday.
Abdullah made the comment in an interview with Beirut-based al-Mayadeen channel which was conducted in the Iranian capital, Tehran.
He said the so-called peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel are a waste of time and have only caused more pain and sorrow for the people of Palestine.
The senior official of the resistance movement added that Palestinians cannot remain silent on Israel’s illegal settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and Judaization of al-Quds (Jerusalem).
Abdullah made the remarks amid mounting tensions in the Gaza Strip following rounds of tit-for-tat attacks by Israeli forces and Palestinian resistance fighters in the blockaded territory.
The escalation began on March 11 when an Israeli airstrike killed three Palestinians in the southern city of Khan Yunis. The deadly incident triggered a series of retaliatory attacks between the two sides.
The Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas, which rules the besieged coastal enclave, has blamed Tel Aviv for the escalation of tensions in the region.
Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has called for the full re-occupation of Gaza in the wake of the violence.
Gaza remains under a crippling blockade which has been in place for over seven years. The blockade – which in effect cuts off the populated sliver from the rest of the world – has caused a decline in the standards of living, unprecedented levels of unemployment, and unrelenting poverty.