Israeli Air Strike Kills Palestinian After Hamas Attack

Wednesday, 11 Jun 2014 04:34 PM

 

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An Israeli air strike killed a Palestinian man in Gaza on Wednesday after new rocket fire from the territory prompted Israel's prime minister to warn he holds Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas responsible.

Two Palestinians were also wounded in the evening raid in the northern Gaza Strip, emergency services said.

The dead man and one of the wounded were travelling on a motorcycle and were the apparent targets. A young boy, who was passing by on foot. was also wounded.

The Israeli military said it had targeted "terrorists affiliated to the international jihad," its designation for al-Qaida-inspired groups in Gaza.

Abbas, who swore in a new merged government for the Palestinian territories last week replacing the Hamas administration in Gaza, condemned the rocket fire, which Israeli officials said hit the Eshkol region without causing any casualties or damage.

Israel had previously held Hamas, a widely designated terrorist organization, responsible for all rocket fire from Gaza, regardless of who carried it out.

Now, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu holds Abbas, who heads the unity government, responsible, a spokesman said.

"Abbas is responsible and accountable for rockets that are fired at Israeli towns and cities by terrorists in the Gaza Strip," Ofir Gendelman wrote on Twitter.

Another Netanyahu spokesman released a statement demanding that Abbas disarm "terrorist" organizations in Gaza.

"Abbas claims that the new Palestinian government honors all previous commitments. So why has he not disarmed the terrorist organisations in Gaza as he is obligated to do?" Mark Regev asked.

The new Palestinian government has said it will respect Israel and past peace agreements, and has given assurances that it renounces violence.

Hamas refuses to recognize Israel and is pledged to armed struggle against the Jewish state.

About 140 rockets and mortar rounds fired from Gaza have hit southern Israel so far this year, the military says.

On June 1, two rockets from Gaza hit Israel, prompting retaliatory air strikes.

 

© AFP 2014

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