Last updated: 4 August, 2011

Israel raids Gaza, no victims

Israel’s air force carried out three raids on the Gaza Strip on Thursday without causing any casualties, witnesses said.

Two attacks early in the day targeted bases of the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the military branch of Hamas that controls the tiny Palestinian coastal enclave, to the east and west of Gaza City.

They followed two Palestinian rocket attacks Wednesday on southern Israel that caused no damage or injuries, according to the army.

On Thursday night, another rocket was fired at the southern town of Kiryat Gat without causing any harm, the army said.

In response, an Israeli warplane attacked a group suspected of firing the rocket, a military spokeswoman said..

The attack, in Gaza City, was confirmed by witnesses, who said there were no casualties.

On Monday, a woman was lightly wounded by shrapnel when a rocket fired from the Palestinian territory exploded near a cemetery.

The past month has seen an increase in rockets and other projectiles fired at Israel from Gaza after several months of calm following a flare-up in April when an anti-tank missile hit an Israeli school bus, killing a teenager.

Israel responded to that attack with a series of air strikes that killed at least 19 Palestinians in the deadliest violence since Israel’s devastating 22-day assault on Gaza in December 2008-January 2009.

The violence raised fears of another offensive, but the Islamist movement Hamas which rules the Palestinian territory announced on April 10 a return to the truce that ended Israel’s Operation Cast Lead.