Last updated: 5 August, 2011

Three hurt as Israel raids Gaza

Israel’s air force carried out three new raids on the Gaza Strip overnight, wounding three people, Palestinian witnesses and medics said on Friday.

Two adults and a child were hurt when a training camp of the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, the military branch of Hamas that controls the tiny Palestinian coastal enclave, was hit in the north, the sources said.

The Israeli army confirmed it had carried out air raids, saying they had targeted three tunnels and an operations base in the central Gaza Strip and a fourth target in the south.

“These objectives were targeted in response to rocket fire (from Gaza) in recent days,” a statement said.

On Thursday night, a 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 schoolbus, 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.”