Saturday, August 20, 2011

Israel continues deadly air strikes on Gaza

Palestinian fighters in Gaza have launched more rockets into southern Israel, injuring three people.

The attacks against the coastal town of Ashdod on Saturday came in response to continued Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip that have now killed 14 people during the past two nights.

The violent exchanges follow coordinated deadly assaults by gunmen who targeted two buses, a car and an army vehicle in the area north of Israel's Red Sea resort of Eilat on Thursday.

In response to the Gaza attacks and at the request of the Palestinians, the Arab League said it would hold a meeting on Sunday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Egypt called on Israel Saturday to immediately halt its strikes on the Gaza Strip.

"Egypt denounces the use of force against civilians in any circumstance and strongly advises Israel to immediately stop its military operations against Gaza," said an Egyptian foreign ministry statement.

Eight Israelis, including six civilians and two soldiers, were killed on Thursday alongside seven of the attackers, among which were two suicide bombers who detonated near a bus and during a confrontation with soldiers. Over 40 Israelis were also wounded, local media reported.

Israel has vowed to "hunt down" the perpetrators who it said had infiltrated from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Israeli officials have blamed a Gaza-based armed group called the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) for Thursday's attacks, although the faction has denied any involvement.

The PRC is not affiliated with Hamas. more