Israeli jets strike Gaza after Hamas offers truce

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 09:26

Gaza City: Israeli jets carried out a series of strikes in Gaza, wounding 17 people, mostly lightly, Palestinian emergency workers said.

They said that two women and seven children were among
those hurt in the strike carried out late yesterday and this
morning.

An Israeli military spokesman said aircraft attacked a
total of six targets.

"They were two terror tunnels, two arms manufacturing
facilities and two other sites," a spokesman told AFP, adding
that the tunnels were intended for staging attacks under the
border fence into Israel.

He said that the raids were in response to a wave of 56
rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza into Israel since
Saturday.

Another tunnel was hit in a single and separate attack
early Monday evening, the military said.

Palestinian witnesses said that among targets in the
north and centre of the strip were a police post of Hamas,
which rules Gaza, and a training facility of its military
wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades which earlier offered to
stop cross-border fire into Israel if the Israelis halted
attacks on Gaza.
A factory producing construction materials and a metal
workshop were also hit, while in southern Gaza there were at
least three strikes in the vicinity of Khan Younis town,
witnesses said.

One targeted a group of fleeing activists, one a building
belonging to the town council and another an empty plot, they
said, adding that no casualties were recorded.

Gaza residents reported receiving telephone calls from
the Israeli military urging them to leave the vicinity of
Hamas facilities.
Ezzedine al-Qassam, which lobbed about 50 mortar rounds
into Israel on Saturday, made its truce offer in a statement
released after Israeli aircraft made their first raid on the
enclave yesterday evening.

It said Saturday`s barrage had been in response to an
Israeli strike last week which killed two of its members, but
that it was ready to call an end to the tit-for-tat violence
if Israel also did so.

"If the enemy stops the escalation and aggression against
our people we will implement the Palestinian national
agreement," the statement said, referring to a truce
reaffirmed by the main militant factions in January.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, March 22, 2011 - 09:26

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