“Step Back From The Brink” UN Warns As Major War Looms After Overnight Gaza Airstrikes

Thursday, August 9, 2018
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
ZeroHedge.com
Thu, 08/09/2018

In the third serious flare-up of violence in the last month, a major escalation began between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza overnight, which involved approximately 180 projectiles fired towards Israeli territory, and more than 150 Israeli airstrikes on targets inside Gaza, according to statements by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF).

A number of smaller scale and sporadic tit-for-tat incidents led to the start of the late Wednesday night massive exchange of rockets. These escalating incidents began Monday when an Israeli tank fired on a northern Gaza Hamas border post, killing two Hamas members. Israel claimed Hamas had fired on Israeli positions first, while a Hamas statement said the fighters had merely been involved in a military exercise and not an act of aggression against Israeli soldiers.

Another Israeli tank attack followed on Wednesday in response to what the IDF described as shots fired at civilian workers constructing an underground barrier on the Israeli side of the border wall. After sunset, the first significant barrage of rocket and mortar fire was unleashed from Gaza on southern Israel, sending civilians in the town of Sderot and other close southern settlements running for shelters while alarms across the region sounded.

Reports citing Israeli sources say of about 180 projectiles launched from Gaza overnight, the Iron Dome defense system intercepted over 30, while most hit open fields. However, official statements also noted strikes on playgrounds, houses, cars, and factories.

“IDF fighter jets targeted over 20 terror sites in military compounds and in a Hamas training camp. Among the sites targeted were a weapons manufacturing and storage facility, a complex used for the Hamas naval force and a military compound used for rocket-launching experiments,” the IDF said Thursday morning.

The BBC reports up to seven Israeli civilians wounded by the rocket and mortar fire, with Palestinian health officials confirming the death of a pregnant Palestinian woman and a toddler. The AFP identified the victims as 23-year old Enas Khammash and her 18-month-old daughter Bayan, killed in the Jafarawi area of central Gaza.

During the daylight hours early Thursday it appears that rockets and airstrikes have ceased, however, warning sirens have continued to sound in various Israeli communities across the south of the country.

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