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Barrage of rockets launched at Israel following botched Gaza operation

A barrage of more than 300 rockets was launched from Gaza toward Israel on Monday, the Israeli army said, ho...

Posted: Nov 13, 2018 9:18 AM
Updated: Nov 13, 2018 9:18 AM

A barrage of more than 300 rockets was launched from Gaza toward Israel on Monday, the Israeli army said, hours after a botched Israeli operation in Gaza left a Hamas commander and an Israeli soldier dead.

Eleven people in Israel were injured by the rocket fire, prompting retaliatory ground and airstrikes by the Israeli military that left at least three Palestinians in Gaza dead, the Palestinian health ministry said.

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One man in Israel was seriously wounded after a bus close to the Gaza fence was hit by an anti-tank missile, according to ZAKA, a volunteer emergency response service. Ten other people were hurt when rockets landed in the Israeli town of Sderot, according to Israeli emergency services.

Israeli TV showed video of multiple rocket launches from the coastal enclave, which has been controlled by the militant group Hamas for more than a decade.

The Israeli army said about 60 rockets were intercepted by the Israel Defense Force's Iron Dome aerial defense system, with many other rockets falling on open ground. Sirens continued to sound in Israeli communities close to the Gaza fence on Monday evening, indicating further incoming rocket fire.

The Israeli military said it had struck more than 20 targets in Gaza from the ground and the air over the last couple of hours.

One of those targets was the al-Aqsa TV channel, which is run by Hamas. Israel destroyed al-Aqsa's main building in a strike late Monday night after carrying out a "door knock," CNN producers said. A door knock is a nonexplosive device designed as a warning to those inside to evacuate.

It was unclear whether there were any casualties in the airstrike, and, a short time later, al-Aqsa was broadcasting from a different location.

Hamas had warned that attacking the channel would be a violation of international law. Hamas' Government Media Center said the channel's destruction "requires a clear response from all international institutions that are interested in the freedom of speech."

Israel has long accused the channel of spreading misinformation and inciting Palestinians to attack Israelis.

The violence comes a day after an Israeli special forces operation in Gaza ended in an exchange of fire with militants from Hamas' armed wing, the Qassam Brigades. One Israeli soldier and seven Palestinians were killed, among them a senior Hamas military commander.

The Israeli army would not give details of the operation, but IDF spokesman Ronen Manelis defended it in an interview in Israeli Radio.

"We are talking about an operation that was well-planned right down to the smallest of details. It is the sort of thing that takes place every night, and in most instances remains under the media's radar," Manelis said.

On this occasion, the soldiers had found themselves in a "very complicated situation," Manelis added.

The IDF identified the dead Israeli soldier only as Lt. Col. M. Another Israeli officer was wounded.

Hamas identified its commander killed as Nour Baraka of the Qassam Brigades.

Hamas issued a warning to Israel on Monday that if the IDF responded with what Hamas called "excessive aggression" after Monday's rocket attacks from Gaza, the response from Hamas would be to "increase the depth and intensity" of its shelling of Israel.

The statement from the Qassam Brigades made clear that Hamas sees Monday's rocket attacks on Israel as a response to the IDF operation inside Gaza on Sunday evening, which the statement described as a "heinous crime."

So far, Monday's rocket attacks have all been short-range, with the farthest hitting the town of Ashkelon about 6 miles (10 kilometers) away from Gaza.

By threatening to "increase the depth" of its attacks, Hamas was signaling that it could launch rockets towards Tel Aviv, about 43 miles (70 kilometers) away, or Jerusalem, almost 50 miles (80 kilometers) away, which would be seen by Israel as a significant escalation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Monday with his Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman and other senior officials at the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Tel Aviv in the wake of the escalation of violence in and around Gaza.

Calling the escalation "EXTREMELY dangerous and reckless" in a Twitter post on Monday, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said the UN was working with Egypt to try to achieve a cessation of hostilities. Mladenov called on both Israeli forces and militants in Gaza to show restraint.

During previous escalations over the past few months, the UN and Egypt have often stepped in to put in place short-term ceasefires between Israel and Gaza.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 482902

Reported Deaths: 9425
CountyCasesDeaths
Harrison33063488
Hinds31021589
DeSoto30610358
Jackson23687348
Rankin21340370
Lee14909220
Madison14166271
Jones13404227
Forrest13160240
Lauderdale11601305
Lowndes10443176
Lamar10214130
Pearl River9098221
Lafayette8241137
Hancock7514112
Washington7102150
Oktibbeha6964124
Monroe6514164
Neshoba6475201
Warren6464164
Pontotoc630393
Panola6250126
Marshall6126123
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Union574186
Pike5613136
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Lincoln5303131
George471472
Scott459196
Leflore4476140
Prentiss446779
Tippah446480
Itawamba4444100
Adams4416116
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Simpson4335112
Wayne433066
Copiah431787
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Chickasaw287065
Clarke282190
Calhoun266141
Holmes262187
Smith250649
Yalobusha221047
Tallahatchie220450
Walthall211058
Greene209045
Lawrence206833
Perry199953
Amite198452
Webster196542
Noxubee178939
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Jefferson Davis168342
Carroll162137
Tunica153334
Benton142535
Kemper138640
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Claiborne126834
Humphreys126637
Franklin116728
Quitman103926
Wilkinson101936
Jefferson91333
Sharkey63020
Issaquena1926
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 789054

Reported Deaths: 14022
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson1115991765
Mobile708511234
Madison49865633
Shelby36274315
Baldwin36242495
Tuscaloosa33931548
Montgomery33190678
Lee22680220
Calhoun21211410
Morgan19816335
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Cullman14602258
Limestone14581188
Elmore14480264
Lauderdale13520281
Talladega12958236
DeKalb12199237
Walker10588330
Blount9720157
Autauga9667137
Jackson9385158
Coffee8882175
Dale8609173
Colbert8534184
Tallapoosa6673181
Escambia6591121
Covington6452167
Chilton6385144
Russell607255
Franklin5795101
Chambers5416134
Marion4800120
Dallas4705189
Clarke463279
Pike462397
Geneva4413117
Winston425895
Lawrence4117108
Bibb409381
Barbour347270
Marengo326285
Monroe320053
Butler318290
Randolph305956
Pickens305274
Henry301858
Hale292685
Cherokee289855
Fayette279673
Washington245448
Crenshaw238470
Cleburne235851
Clay228565
Macon220158
Lamar197743
Conecuh182046
Lowndes170758
Coosa170235
Wilcox159736
Bullock149243
Perry136537
Sumter124536
Greene121443
Choctaw73427
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