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Israel says Iran is behind rocket barrage from Gaza

An Israeli military spokesman on Saturday accused Iran of orchestrating a rocket barrage from Gaza into Isra...

Posted: Oct 28, 2018 1:01 PM
Updated: Oct 28, 2018 1:01 PM

An Israeli military spokesman on Saturday accused Iran of orchestrating a rocket barrage from Gaza into Israel, saying Gaza militants were carrying out the launches "under guidance, instructions and incentives" given by the Islamic Republic.

The Israel Defense Forces said more than 30 rockets had been fired into Israel since late Friday. The IDF said its Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted more than a dozen of the launches.

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The rocket fire prompted a series of Israeli airstrikes against targets in Gaza. Israel has said it blames Islamic Jihad, one of the coastal enclave's two main Islamist militant factions, for the rockets.

But IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said the militant group, which is funded by Iran, coordinated the attack with Iran's al-Quds Revolutionary Guard Corps, which has forces in Syria.

In a rare move, the Israeli military threatened to carry out airstrikes in Syria against Syrian and Iranian targets in response.

"Over the night, we have passed those messages to the relevant parties, and I'd emphasize and say that our response is not limited geographically," Conricus said in a briefing to reporters Saturday morning.

Israel seldom acknowledges carrying out strikes in Syria, and it is practically unheard of for it to warn of those strikes in advance.

Rocket fire comes after protests and earlier clashes

Friday's rocket fire began in the evening, triggering red-alert sirens across the Gaza periphery.

In its response, the IDF said its fighter jets and helicopters struck nearly 100 targets in the coastal enclave, including a tunnel, advanced weapons manufacturing sites, and military facilities belonging to Islamic Jihad and to Hamas, the militant group that controls Gaza.

The IDF also said it hit a four-story building that is reportedly a headquarters for Hamas' General Security Services.

By early Saturday afternoon, the rapid rise in tensions appeared over, with the restoration of a ceasefire apparently mediated by Egypt.

Islamic Jihad issued a statement in which it mentioned contact with Egyptian officials and declared its "commitment (to a ceasefire) in exchange for (similar) commitment by the Israeli enemy."

A spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister's office would not comment on the reported ceasefire.

The escalation followed violence earlier Friday along the fence that separates Gaza and Israel. Five Palestinians died after being shot by Israeli soldiers, according to Palestinian Health Ministry officials.

The ministry identified them as Muhammad Khaled Mahmoud 'Abd al-Nabi, 27; Nassar Abu Tim, 22; Ahmed Said Abu Libda, 22; Ayesh Ghassan Shaat, 23; and Mujahid Aql, 23. More than 200 people were injured in the clashes, health officials said, including 180 by live ammunition.

The IDF said about 16,000 Palestinians had gathered along the fence, with some hurling grenades and firebombs.

The latest round of violence will likely further set back attempts to reach a new, long-term ceasefire arrangement that could improve Gaza's humanitarian situation.

On Wednesday, Israel allowed the resumption of fuel transfers into Gaza that are financed by Qatar. The extra fuel is aimed at increasing the electricity available to Gaza's 2 million residents, who have been making do with only a few hours of power a day.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 307519

Reported Deaths: 7096
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto20784248
Hinds19894408
Harrison17493302
Rankin13316275
Jackson13099243
Madison9896210
Lee9859169
Jones8293160
Forrest7523146
Lauderdale7189237
Lowndes6265144
Lamar610784
Lafayette6028117
Washington5280132
Bolivar4770129
Oktibbeha455297
Panola4442103
Pearl River4420139
Warren4281118
Marshall4273100
Pontotoc416472
Monroe4057132
Union403775
Neshoba3988176
Lincoln3871108
Hancock372185
Leflore3468124
Sunflower329389
Tate322781
Pike3181104
Scott310572
Yazoo304368
Alcorn297764
Itawamba296876
Copiah293065
Coahoma289677
Simpson287484
Tippah284868
Prentiss275659
Marion265979
Wayne261341
Leake261173
Grenada254982
Covington254580
Adams245982
Newton244859
George237847
Winston225981
Tishomingo222067
Jasper219748
Attala213373
Chickasaw204857
Holmes186471
Clay182454
Stone179131
Clarke176876
Tallahatchie175540
Calhoun163230
Yalobusha158836
Smith158634
Walthall130543
Greene129433
Lawrence126323
Noxubee125933
Montgomery125542
Perry125138
Carroll120826
Amite120141
Webster113432
Jefferson Davis105432
Tunica102525
Claiborne101330
Benton97225
Kemper95226
Humphreys94332
Franklin81923
Quitman78916
Choctaw72817
Jefferson64828
Wilkinson64727
Sharkey49617
Issaquena1686
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 519071

Reported Deaths: 10712
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson754131487
Mobile37774798
Madison33868494
Tuscaloosa25283443
Montgomery23969565
Shelby23112238
Baldwin20638300
Lee15524165
Calhoun14286311
Morgan14140268
Etowah13664345
Marshall11957219
Houston10383278
Elmore9994200
Limestone9814147
Cullman9475188
St. Clair9429234
Lauderdale9218227
DeKalb8747181
Talladega8060171
Walker7092275
Jackson6755110
Autauga6727103
Blount6488135
Colbert6205130
Coffee5401112
Dale4768110
Russell428938
Franklin419982
Chilton4083109
Covington4053114
Tallapoosa3893146
Escambia388074
Dallas3527149
Chambers3500122
Clarke346360
Marion3066100
Pike305875
Lawrence295395
Winston272372
Bibb256458
Marengo248661
Geneva245875
Pickens232959
Barbour224955
Hale218775
Butler212366
Fayette208960
Henry187844
Cherokee182044
Randolph176941
Monroe171540
Washington164038
Macon154848
Clay149454
Crenshaw149357
Cleburne146041
Lamar139334
Lowndes136453
Wilcox124327
Bullock121340
Conecuh109028
Perry107926
Sumter102932
Coosa99328
Greene90734
Choctaw58724
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