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Middle East News
Israeli Airstrikes Hit Gaza
From the Wall Street Journal of Fri, 19 Dec 2014 19:57:35 EST

TEL AVIV—Israeli airstrikes hit the Gaza Strip in the early hours of Saturday morning, the first such attack after the summer’s 50-day conflict, raising tension at the border.

Israel’s military said fighter jets had hit what it described as a “terror infrastructure site” controlled by Hamas, the Islamist political and military movement which runs the Gaza Strip.

Earlier Friday, a rocket was fired from Gaza at Israel, landing in an empty area of the southern Eshkol district near Gaza, according to the military.

“The [Israel Defense Forces] will not permit any attempt to undermine the security and jeopardize the well-being of the civilians of Israel,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, the military spokesman. “The Hamas terrorist organization is responsible and accountable for today’s attack against Israel.”

There was no immediate response from Hamas.

The Israeli border with Gaza has remained tense since a 50-day conflict this summer, which killed roughly 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis, according to the United Nations.

Hamas has vowed to restart hostilities with Israel if it impedes Gaza’s recovery from the war. Nearly 100,000 people remained homeless as of October, according to the U.N. While international donors have pledged $5.4 billion for Gaza’s recovery, only a fraction has arrived as aid, and heavy restrictions have been placed on the importation of cement into Gaza.

On Nov. 20, the Israeli military said Gaza militants launched four rockets into the sea in what Israeli officials described as a test launch. A week later, Israel said shots were fired from Gaza at one of its military vehicles on patrol along the barrier with Israel.

On Wednesday, a court in the European Union removed Hamas from the official list of terrorist organizations on a technicality, a move which drew the ire of Israel. Funding restrictions remain in place pending a possible appeal.

Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzook called the move a “correction of a historical mistake.”

The U.S., Israel and a number of other nations designate Hamas a terror organization.

Write to Nicholas Casey at nicholas.casey@wsj.com



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