Israel threatens to get tougher on Gaza after warplanes hit Hamas

The strikes targeting Hamas’s military wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, were more intense than in previous sorties. AFP
Updated 21 June 2018
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Israel threatens to get tougher on Gaza after warplanes hit Hamas

  • Israeli planes initially targeted three Hamas military positions overnight in Gaza in response to kites and balloons carrying incendiary and explosive devices launched into Israel
  • The military wings of Hamas and allied militant group Islamic Jihad said they had “targeted seven Israeli military positions near Gaza

GAZA CITY: Israeli warplanes pounded Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday in a new flare-up of hostilities that saw dozens of rockets and mortar shells fired from the Palestinian enclave, the army said.
The strikes targeting Hamas’ military wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, were more intense than in previous sorties to convey the message “we will not allow this situation to continue,” Israeli military spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters.
The latest spike in tensions follows weeks of deadly protests and clashes along the Gaza-Israel border as well as the worst military escalation last month since a 2014 war.
It comes as US President Donald Trump’s special envoy Jason Greenblatt and adviser Jared Kushner visit the region to discuss issues including the Palestinian-Israeli peace process.
Israeli planes initially targeted three Hamas military positions overnight in Gaza in response to kites and balloons carrying incendiary and explosive devices launched into Israel from the Palestinian territory, the army said.
“They may look like toys but I can assure they are not toys, they are weapons intended to kill and to inflict damage,” Conricus said.
He said that so far Israel had sought to warn off those launching the airborne devices but that could change.
“Hamas and other militants, but mainly Hamas” hit back after the first air raids with more than 45 rockets and mortar rounds fired from Gaza toward Israel, seven of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, he added.
Three more landed inside the Jewish state, he said, but did not account for the remainder.
In response, Israeli planes carried out more raids against 25 “terror objectives” including an underground training compound, according to the army.
Gaza medical sources said that five people were lightly injured in the strikes.
In a joint statement, the military wings of Hamas and allied militant group Islamic Jihad said they had “targeted seven Israeli military positions near Gaza... in response to continued Israeli aggression against resistance sites in Gaza.”
Conricus said that most of the 200,000 Israeli civilians who live within range of the short-range rockets fired from Gaza “spent the night in bomb shelters.”


Turkey detains 43 suspected Daesh militants

Updated 2 min 6 sec ago
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Turkey detains 43 suspected Daesh militants

  • It was believed that they were members of social media groups linked to Daesh and that they had been in contact with people in conflict zones, it said
  • The militant group has carried out numerous attacks across Turkey in recent years

ISTANBUL: Turkish police said on Monday they had detained 43 people on suspicion of being foreign members of the Daesh militant group in a series of operations across Istanbul.
Istanbul counter-terrorism police units captured the suspected militants on Friday in simultaneous raids on 15 homes, a police statement said.
It was believed that they were members of social media groups linked to Daesh and that they had been in contact with people in conflict zones, it said.
The militant group has carried out numerous attacks across Turkey in recent years, including on a nightclub in Istanbul on Jan. 1, 2017 in which 39 people were killed, and a bombing in the city’s historic heart that killed 12 in 2016.
Turkey has stepped up security operations against the group’s network inside the country in the last couple of years, detaining many suspected militants and eradicating several cells across the country.