Air Raids in Gaza Strip Following Shooting and Qassam Rocket Attacks in Southern Israel

Published February 10th, 2002 - 02:00 GMT

Israeli helicopters hit targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday evening, in response to two Palestinian attacks on Israel earlier in the day. The air raid came after Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon convened a meeting of the inner-security cabinet to discuss reaction to the attacks, reported Haaretz.  

 

Witnesses in Gaza said they saw Israeli fighter jets patrolling over the city and then saw one fire a missile at the Ansar-2 police complex near the residence and headquarters of Palestinian Chairman Yasser Arafat, who is confined by Israel to the West Bank city of Ramallah.  

 

In addition and as an immediate response to the attacks, Israeli troops split the Gaza Strip at two points.  

 

Beer Sheva Attack 

 

Two Israeli female soldiers were killed and at least five other Israelis were wounded in an armed attack at the entrance to the Israel's Southern Command headquarters in Be'er Sheva on Sunday. The two Palestinian shooters were also killed.  

 

According to eyewitnesses, the armed attack was carried out by two Palestininas who opened fire around 1.30 P.M. (local time) from a car, near the entrance of the military base.  

 

One of the gunmen had explosives strapped to his body, and police sappers were defusing it. The gunmen's vehicle was also being examined to ensure that it is not booby-trapped.  

 

Qassam Rockets 

 

About two hours before the attack in Be`er Sheva, Palestinians fired three Qassam rockets into Israel territory near the Gaza Strip.  

 

There were no injuries in this attack.  

 

One of the missile slammed down between two tractors working in a kibbutz field northeast of Gaza City, Army Radio reported.  

 

Israeli tanks fired several shells in the direction of the launching position.  

 

Troops later discovered the time-delayed triple launcher.  

 

If the investigation confirms that the ballistic device was a Qassam rocket, it will mark the first time Palestinian fighters have used the new weapon, which has a range of over four kilometers.  

 

During his recent visit to the United States, Sharon told his American colleagues that if Qassam rockets were fired by Palestinians at Israeli communities, Israel would respond severely in a way "unlike anything else.” (Albawaba.com) 

© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)


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