ISRAELI WARPLANES UNLEASH 34 STRIKES ON GAZA

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A ball of fire is seen following an Israel airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza, on July 1, 2014. Israeli warplanes launched in the early morning hours of Tuesday, dozens of airstrikes on different targets in the Gaza Strip, including sites belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. (Photo credit: AFP/ SAID KHATIB)
A ball of fire is seen following an Israel airstrike in Rafah, southern Gaza, on July 1, 2014. Israeli warplanes launched in the early morning hours of Tuesday, dozens of airstrikes on different targets in the Gaza Strip, including sites belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. (Photo credit: AFP/ SAID KHATIB)

HAMAS STRONGLY DENIES INVOLVEMENT IN ISRAELI TEENS’ ABDUCTION; WARNS RETALIATORY ACTION WILL OPEN GATES OF HELL

GAZA — Israeli warplanes Tuesday launched dozens of airstrikes on militant facilities in the Gaza Strip, officials said. The Israeli Air Force struck 34 targets in the Gaza Strip early Tuesday, carrying out “precision strikes” against Hamas and Islamic Jihad structures, the IDF said in a statement according to Times of Israel.

Hamas security officials in Gaza said that Israeli warplanes, which hovered over the Palestinian enclave after midnight, carried out more than 25 airstrikes in less than 10 minutes on targets operated by Hamas and Islamic jihad, Xinhua reported.

Israeli naval vessels also struck some of Hamas’ training facilities in northern Gaza.

The assault was launched at the end of an emergency meeting of the Israeli cabinet convened by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to formulate a response to the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers and the rocket attacks on Israel from the Gaza Strip since last month.

Israel Monday held Palestinian Islamist militant group of Hamas responsible for the killing of three missing Israeli teenagers, whose bodies were found in the West Bank Monday evening and drew worldwide condemnation.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Hamas for the teenagers’ killings, Xinhua reported citing a government statement. He said the teenagers were “kidnapped and murdered in cold blood by animals”. “Our hearts bleed, the entire nation is crying with them,” Netanyahu added.

However, Hamas strongly denied its involvement in the abduction. It warned that any retaliatory attack by Israel will open “the gates of hell”.

Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri told Palestinian Al-Aqsa TV that Israel is using the deaths of the teenagers to “escalate the situation against our people and our resistance, and Hamas in particular”, BBC reported.

Following the bodies’ discovery by Israeli security forces, Netanyahu presided over a cabinet meet convened to discuss the recent developments and the possible courses of action late Monday.

“Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay,” he said in a statement to the press at the beginning of the urgent meet of his diplomatic-security cabinet.

Eyal Yifrach,19, Naftali Frankel,16, and Gilad Shaer,16, went missing June 12. Their bodies were discovered near Hebron city in the West Bank’s Judean Hills, The Jerusalem Post reported.

They were found in an area in the West Bank controlled by Palestinian Authority, Israel’s military confirmed. The area, where the bodies were found, is not far from where they were considered to be kidnapped.

The country’s political class echoed Netanyahu and called for harsh crackdown on Hamas.

President Shimon Peres said: “As we learn the bitter news, the people of Israel grieve the untimely death of our fine young men. With deep sorrow, we remain determined to fiercely punish the criminal terrorist.”

Speaker of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) Yuli Edelstein said that “Israel must open a definitive war on Hamas. It is time that the Palestinians will realize that Hamas is leading them to destruction.”

Although there was no immediate official word as to how the teenagers died, the New York Times cited government sources as saying that they appeared to have been shot.

Israeli security forces had conducted a manhunt in the West Bank territories in the past two weeks dubbed as operation “Brother’s Keeper” to track down the missing teens and their suspected kidnappers.

Meanwhile, the teenagers’ killings were condemned by the UN, the US, Britain, Australia, and France among others.–Agencies

theclarionindia
theclarionindiahttps://clarionindia.net
Clarion India - News, Views and Insights about Indian Muslims, Dalits, Minorities, Women and Other Marginalised and Dispossessed Communities.

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