Dozens of Gaza rockets hit southern Israel

Published March 12th, 2014 - 04:07 GMT
Israeli airstrikes frequently target Gaza. Here, a Palestinian man sits in the rubble of his home following a airstrike on the southern Gaza strip. (AFP/File)
Israeli airstrikes frequently target Gaza. Here, a Palestinian man sits in the rubble of his home following a airstrike on the southern Gaza strip. (AFP/File)

Dozens of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel on Wednesday, a day after an Israeli airstrike killed three Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.

The al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility for the attacks, saying: "The response has begun to the crimes of the occupation, the latest of which was the killing of three members" of the group on Tuesday.

According to Israeli reports, rockets landed in open areas near the town of Sderot and near residential areas. 

A senior Israeli security source told AFP that "25 rockets were fired in close succession all over the south," including five towards Sderot, but that there were no immediate reports of casualties.

Warning sirens sounded in Israeli towns and cities near the border. 

An Israeli officer told Israeli army radio that "we haven't seen such a barrage (of rockets) in the last two years."

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said that "damage" had been caused but not injuries, and that "police units" were searching "open areas."

An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed the rocket fire but offered no further details. 

A day earlier, an Israeli airstrike killed three Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip, medics said. 

The three resistance fighters were killed by the airstrike in southeast Khan Younis near the Sufa crossing.

The al-Quds Brigades said at the time that the militants were affiliated to the group. 

"They were in confrontation with the occupation trying to stop the progress of Israeli military vehicles which were approaching the area," the statement said. 

The Israeli army said in a statement that "terrorists affiliated with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in the southern Gaza Strip fired a mortar shell at IDF forces."

"An IAF aircraft responded immediately in order to prevent further attacks on Israeli civilians and targeted the terrorist squad. Direct hits were confirmed, the army statement said.

Also Tuesday morning, an Israeli drone fell in the area of the attack.

The airstrikes came just hours after Palestinian security sources said a man died after Israeli soldiers fired at him while he was driving near the West Bank city of Tulkarem. 

The Israeli army also killed two Palestinians in the West Bank on Monday.

Israeli soldiers shot and killed 18-year-old Saji Darwish near Ramallah late Monday, after he allegedly threw stones at Israeli vehicles.

Earlier, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian-Jordanian judge at the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan.

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