Palestinian rocket fire draws Israeli air strikes in Gaza

Flames are seen following an Israeli air strike in the town of Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, early on Nov. 22, 2020. (AFP)
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Updated 22 November 2020

Palestinian rocket fire draws Israeli air strikes in Gaza

  • No casualties reported on either side of the border

GAZA: Palestinian militants fired a rocket into Israel, drawing Israeli air strikes in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said on Sunday.
There were no casualties reported on either side of the border. Israeli police said the Gaza rocket fired on Saturday night damaged a factory in the southern city of Ashkelon.
The Israeli military said its aircraft struck in response against several military sites belonging to Hamas, the Islamist armed group that controls Gaza.
Reuters witnesses said the pre-dawn strikes hit targets in Gaza City and the southern Gaza cities of Rafah and Khan Younis, where flames and plumes of smoke could be seen rising from some sites.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility from any of Gaza’s military groups for firing the rocket. Israel and Hamas last fought a war in 2014 and have exchanged fire several times since, though the border has been largely quiet in recent months.
“The Hamas terror organization is responsible for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it, and will bear the consequences for terror activity against Israeli civilians,” the military said in a statement.
In Gaza Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum blamed the new escalation on Israel.
“The Israeli occupation is the prime responsible for everything that happens in Gaza as it continues to blockade it and carry out attacks. The resistance is only acting in self-defense,” Barhoum told Reuters.


Egyptian inventor trials robot that can test for COVID-19

Updated 1 min ago

Egyptian inventor trials robot that can test for COVID-19

TANTA: With Egypt facing a second coronavirus wave, an inventor is trialing a remote-control robot which can test for COVID-19, take the temperature of patients, and warn them if they don’t wear masks at a private hospital north of Cairo.
Mahmoud el-Komy, who designed the robot, called Cira-03, says it can help limit exposure to infection and prevent the transmission of the virus.
His creation, which has a human-like face and head and robotic arms, can take blood tests, perform echocardiograms and X-rays, and display the results to patients on a screen attached to its chest.
“I tried to make the robot seem more human, so that the patient doesn’t fear it. So they don’t feel like a box is walking in on them,” he said.
“There has been a positive response from patients. They saw the robot and weren’t afraid. On the contrary, there is more trust in this because the robot is more precise than humans.”
Cira-03 tests a patient for coronavirus by cupping their chin and then extending an arm with a swab into their mouth.
Abu Bakr El-Mihi, head of a private hospital where the robot is being tested, said they were using the robot to take the temperature of anyone suspected of having COVID-19.