First Gaza rocket in six weeks draws Israeli response

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008. (File/AFP)
Updated 29 December 2018
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First Gaza rocket in six weeks draws Israeli response

  • “An army attack helicopter targeted a Hamas military position in the south of the Gaza Strip,” an army statement said
  • Mass protests along the border since March 30 have triggered deadly clashes with the Israel army that have raised fears of a fourth

JERUSALEM: An Israeli aircraft hit a Hamas position in the Gaza Strip late on Friday in response to the first fire from the territory since a November flare-up, the military said.
“An army attack helicopter targeted a Hamas military position in the south of the Gaza Strip,” an army statement said.
It said it had responded after a “launch toward Israel” that Israeli media said was a rocket.
Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas said the Israeli aircraft fired two missiles which damaged one of their positions but caused no casualties.
It was the first rocket fire from Gaza since an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire announced on November 13 ended the worst flare-up around the territory since a 2014 war.
In the space of 48 hours, hundreds of rockets and mortar rounds were fired into Israel, killing one person and wounding 27.
The barrage followed a botched Israeli commando raid which killed a Hamas commander and six other militants as well as an Israeli officer.
Seven Gazans were killed and 26 wounded in retaliatory Israeli air strikes before the cease-fire took effect.
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008, and mass protests along the border since March 30 have triggered deadly clashes with the Israel army that have raised fears of a fourth.
During a protest on Friday, Israeli fire killed Karam Fayyad, 26, on the border east of the city of Khan Yunis, the Gaza health ministry said.
At least 240 Palestinians have been killed since the demonstrations began, most of them by Israeli fire during border clashes but also by air and tank strikes.


US puts up $10m reward for Hezbollah information

Updated 35 min 5 sec ago
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US puts up $10m reward for Hezbollah information

  • The money is for anyone who provides intelligence that allows the US to disrupt Hezbollah in key ways

WASHINGTON: The US on Monday offered a $10 million reward for information that would disrupt the finances of Lebanon’s Shiite militant movement Hezbollah.
The State Department said it would give the money to anyone who provides intelligence that allows the US to disrupt Hezbollah in key ways.
The areas include information on Hezbollah’s donors, on financial institutions that assist its transactions and on businesses controlled by the movement.
President Donald Trump’s administration has put a top priority on reducing the influence of Iran, the primary backer of Hezbollah.
The State Department listed three alleged Hezbollah financiers as examples of activities it was seeking to stop, with one, Ali Youssef Charara, allegedly funding the group by investing millions of dollars from Hezbollah in the telecommunications industry in West Africa.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has pointed to a recent appeal by Hezbollah for donations as a sign of US success in curbing Iran.
On a visit last month to Beirut, Pompeo urged Lebanon to counter the “dark ambitions” of Iran and Hezbollah but was rebuffed by Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, who said Hezbollah was not a terrorist group and enjoyed a wide base.
The United States has vowed for decades to fight Shiite militants in Lebanon, with memories still bitter over the 1983 attack on a military barracks in Beirut that killed 241 Americans.
Hezbollah, however, also functions as a political party, with posts in the current cabinet, and enjoys support among some Lebanese who recall its guerrilla campaign that led Israel to withdraw from the country in 2000.