Israel strikes Hamas after new Gaza rocket fire

Israel bombed Hamas positions in Gaza overnight in retaliation for rocket fire across the border. (AFP)
Updated 12 September 2019

Israel strikes Hamas after new Gaza rocket fire

  • “Rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory,” the military said
  • No injuries were reported on either side

JERUSALEM: Israeli warplanes hit Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for Palestinian rocket fire, a military statement said early Thursday.
“Rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory,” it said in English without giving details.
“In response...fighter jets and an Israel Defense Forces aircraft struck a number of terror targets in a Hamas military compound in the northern Gaza Strip,” it added.
The official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that Israeli aircraft on Wednesday evening “fired at least one missile targeting an empty site in Al-SHajjaiyeh neighborhood,” east of Gaza City.
No injuries were reported on either side.
On Wednesday, several rockets were fired from the Hamas-ruled strip at Israel, which responded by striking Hamas military positions in the enclave, the Israeli army said.
The strikes were confirmed by a Palestinian security source in Gaza.
Wednesday’s afternoon exchange came a day after rockets fired from the Palestinian territory toward the Israeli city of Ashdod forced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to flee the stage during a campaign rally.
The right-wing premier is campaigning for re-election in September 17 parliamentary polls.
On Tuesday Netanyahu announced his intention to annex a large part of the occupied West Bank if re-elected.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.


Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

Updated 16 September 2019

Afghan, US forces kill Taliban governors, fighters

  • Joint operations planned to prevent attacks ahead of polls

KABUL: Afghan forces backed by US forces killed two senior Taliban leaders and at least 38 fighters of the hard-line insurgent group in joint airstrikes conducted in northern and western regions of Afghanistan, officials said on Sunday.

The operations, launched on Saturday night, were aimed at foiling attacks planned by the Taliban on Afghan forces, said a senior security official in capital Kabul, adding that clashes have escalated following the collapse of diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban.

The Defense Ministry in a statement said that the Taliban’s designate governor for northern Samangan province, Mawlavi Nooruddin, was killed along with four fighters in an airstrike in Dara-e-Soof Payeen district.

But the Taliban denied the governor had been killed.

“He (Nooruddin) is alive,” said Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman said in a statement.

HIGHLIGHT

Taliban deny the governor of Samangan province had been killed.

Last week, insurgents killed four Afghan special force members in a car bomb blast.

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day.

In a separate incident, Mullah Sayed Azim, a Taliban designate governor for Anar Dara district in western Farah was killed in a joint Afghan and foreign force raid.

“Sayed Azim was killed along with 34 other insurgents in Anar Dara,” said Mohibullah Mohib, a spokesman for Farah provincial police.

Senior security officials in Kabul said several joint operations will be launched against Taliban and Daesh fighters to prevent attacks on Afghan forces and civilians ahead of the presidential polls on Sept. 28.

Fighting picked up in several parts of Afghanistan last week after US President Donald Trump’s abrupt cancelation of talks with the Taliban aimed at withdrawing US troops and opening the way to end to 18 year-long war in Afghanistan. 

 

Troops for polling day

Afghan officials say around 100,000 members of the country’s security forces are ready for polling day. Nasrat Rahimi, spokesman for the Interior Ministry said on Sunday that 72,000 security personnel will be on duty around the 4,942 polling centers across Afghanistan while nearly 30,000 additional troops will serve as reserve units.

Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said security forces have recently taken back eight districts from the Taliban and that operations are underway to secure around 20 others.