Israel targets Hamas sites after Gaza rocket attack

This file image shows a smoke trail as a rocket is launched from the northern Gaza Strip. (Reuters/Nir Elias)
Updated 02 January 2018

Israel targets Hamas sites after Gaza rocket attack

Gaza City, Palestinian Territories: Israeli aircraft attacked Hamas bases in Gaza early Tuesday in response to a rocket from the Palestinian enclave targeting southern Israel hours before, concurring sources said.
The aircraft targeted a “military compound belonging to the terrorist organization Hamas,” a statement from the army read.
Palestinian security sources said the strikes were in Khan Younes in the south and Deir Al-Balah in central Gaza, causing damage but no casualties.
On Monday night, a rocket hit a town in southern Israel, causing however no damage or casualties.
Palestinian militants in Gaza have fired 18 rockets or mortar rounds at Israel in violence that erupted after US President Donald Trump’s controversial December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, six of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system.
The projectiles are often fired by fringe Islamist groups, but Israel holds Gaza’s militant rulers Hamas responsible for any attacks from the territory and retaliates by targeting Hamas positions.
“The IDF holds Hamas solely accountable for events in the Gaza Strip,” the Tuesday army statement read.


Egypt to ban Ramadan gatherings to counter spread of coronavirus

Updated 4 min 20 sec ago

Egypt to ban Ramadan gatherings to counter spread of coronavirus

  • Egypt will ban any gatherings and public iftars

CAIRO: Egypt will ban any public religious gatherings during the holy Muslim fasting month Ramadan starting in around two weeks to counter the spread of the new coronavirus, a government statement said on Tuesday.
Muslims usually break the fast at sunset together with their families, go to the mosque to pray and spend maximum time with relatives.
But with health experts recommending social distancing measures during the global coronavirus crisis, Egypt will ban any gatherings and public iftars, or fast-breaking meals, as well as collective social activities, the ministry of Islamic endowments said in a statement.
Typically mass iftars are held for poor people.
The ban will also apply to the seclusion of Itikaf when Muslims spend the last 10 days of the month in mosques to pray and meditate, the ministry said.
Egypt has reported more than 1,300 confirmed cases of the coronavirus with more than 250 deaths, according to a Reuters tally.
Egypt is home to some 100 million people and also the seat of the Al-Azhar university, Egypt’s highest religious authority and one of the world’s most eminent seats of Sunni Muslim learning.
Ramadan will start around April 23 depending on the sighting of the moon marking the start of the month.
Egypt already last month ordered mosques and churches to shut their doors to worshippers. Prayer calls are broadcast via loudspeakers.