Gaza City, Gaza Strip: Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with nearly 200 airstrikes on early Saturday, the military said, widening a blistering assault on Gaza rocket operations to include the prime minister's headquarters, a police compound and a vast network of smuggling tunnels. The new attacks followed an unprecedented rocket strike aimed at the contested holy city of Jerusalem that raised the stakes in Israel's violent confrontation with Palestinian militants and extended the battlefield.
Israeli aircraft also kept pounding their original targets, the militants' weapons storage facilities and underground rocket launching sites. They also went after rocket squads more aggressively. The military has called up thousands of reservists and massed troops, tanks and other armored vehicles along the border with Gaza, signaling a ground invasion could be imminent. Militants, undaunted by the heavy damage the Israeli attacks have inflicted, have unleashed some 500 rockets against the Jewish state, including new, longer-range weapons turned for the first time this week against Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv heartland. Following those attacks, the military deployed an Iron Dome rocket defense battery in central Israel on Saturday. The system, devised precisely to deflect the Gaza rocket threat, was deployed two months earlier than planned, the Defense Ministry said.
Ten people, including eight militants, were killed and dozens were wounded in the various attacks on early Saturday, Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said. In all, 40 Palestinians including 13 civilians and three Israeli civilians have been killed since the Israeli operation began.
04:29 PM, Nov 17, 2012
Rafah: After four years, Egypt on Saturday permanently opened the Gaza Strip's main gateway to the outside world, bringing long-awaited relief to the territory's Palestinian population and a significant achievement for the area's ruling Hamas militant group. The reopening of the Rafah border crossing eases an Egyptian blockade of Gaza that has prevented the vast majority of the densely populated area's 1.5 million people from being able to travel abroad....
01:12 PM, May 28, 2011