Israel launches aerial attack on Gaza, Sharon recovers from mild stroke
Israel launched an aerial attack on the northern Gaza Strip on Monday morning, reportedly in attempt to hinder the movement of Palestinians transporting rockets intended to target Israeli towns.
On Sunday, a Qassam rocket had been fired by Palestinians into the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon, just north of the Strip. The Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the attack in a video showing a rocket launcher.
Israeli military sources stated that Israeli missiles hit roads used to transport Qassam rockets used by Palestinian groups in the area.
"Four access routes have been targeted in the northern Gaza Strip by the air force," an spokesman for the Israeli military said. "The routes have been used by terrorists to reach areas from which they launch rockets and mortar shells at Israeli targets."
Israeli authorities are concerned with the fact that since Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, Palestinians can now fire rockets into Israeli territory at close range.
Two missiles reportedly hit a residential area in the town of Beit Lahiya; two Palestinians were wounded in the attack by shrapnel, reported Haaretz.
Also on Monday, Israeli troops arrested three Palestinians in the West Bank. One man was reportedly an Islamic Jihad operative and another, a Hamas member. The two were arrested in the town of Nablus.
Israeli troops were fired upon during the operation, according to Israeli sources.
Another Palestinian man was arrested by Israeli troops on Monday who reportedly entered Israel from the Gaza Strip with the intention of carrying out a suicide attack on Israel. The man was carrying an explosives belt, firearms and grenades.
Some Israeli sources feel that the Palestinian Authority is helpless to prevent such attacks.
Sharon in stable condition
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minster Ariel Sharon is reportedly recovering from a mild stroke which he suffered on Sunday evening.
The Israeli leader is reportedly doing well, and "apologized" for disrupting the hospital to which he was admitted. “I feel much better; I’m fine; I’m sorry for bothering the whole hospital,” Sharon was quoted as saying.
Meanwhile, Jewish extremist groups who opposed Sharon's withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip prayed for god to "rid them of Sharon," and claimed that Sharon's stroke proved that their prayers had been answered.
© 2005 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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