Gaza Pummeling Southern Israel
Dozens of rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip pummeled southern Israel early Wednesday and an Israeli airstrike killed a Palestinian militant, in a sharp escalation of violence following a landmark visit to Gaza by Qatar's leader...
Several foreign workers in Israel were critically wounded in the rocket fire Wednesday, and a number of militants were injured in the Israeli air attacks, Israeli and Palestinian health officials said. Hamas security forces were ordered to evacuate their facilities for fear they would become targets of Israeli airstrikes, and some schools in southern Israel and Gaza canceled classes.
Crossings between Gaza and Israel were shut down following the exchanges of fire.
Hostilities have been simmering for weeks, and Israel's defense minister vowed that his country would not reconcile itself to attacks from Gaza.
Asked if Israel was considering a ground operation in the Palestinian territory, Ehud Barak told Israel Radio that "if we need a ground operation there will be a ground operation. We will do whatever necessary to stop this wave" of violence.
The Israeli military said nearly 70 rockets and mortars were fired by late morning, and that Israeli aircraft struck Gaza four times. The Popular Resistance Committees said one of its members died in one of the airstrikes, and Gaza health official Dr. Ashraf al-Kidra said another Gaza man died of wounds sustained in an attack Tuesday night that killed two militants. No militant group claimed him as a member.
One of the rockets hit a house, causing no injuries, and one of the airstrikes struck a mosque in the southern Gaza village of Khouza for the second time in several weeks.
Much of the fighting has been between Israel and smaller militant groups. But the military wing of Gaza's Hamas rulers and a smaller militant group claimed credit for the rocket and mortar fire Wednesday.
In a statement, Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees said "these holy missions come in response to the repeated, continuous crimes of the enemy against our people, which killed four and injured 10 in the past 48 hours."
The barrage from Gaza came just hours after Qatar's ruler accorded Hamas unprecedented political recognition by becoming the first head of state to visit the largely shunned Palestinian territory on Tuesday.
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Editor's Note: This is non-negotiable: Until all Muslims denounce their ideologies mandate that Jews be killed and Israel eliminated, they will be complicit in each and every action made against the Israeli and Jewish people. It must go without saying, if you want to live in peace you must live peacefully. Today, Islamists -- in the form of jihadists, terrorists and apathetic Muslims -- choose not to live peacefully.
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