BREAKING: After Bodies of Israeli Teens Found, Jets Strike Several Sites in GazaPosted: June 30, 2014
Air force targets locations in Khan Younis, Rafah; rocket fired at Eshkol region; no injuries or damage reported
ABC NEWS reports: Following the discovery of the bodies of three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped in the West Bank earlier this month, reporters said they could hear the sound of airstrikes tonight in Gaza.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether the strikes were in retaliation for the kidnappings and murders, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had vowed to avenge. The Israel Defense Forces also tweeted early Tuesday morning that a rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel, but no damage was reported….(read more)
Earlier, a rocket was fired in the direction of the Eshkol Regional Council, landing in open terrain. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage.
The strikes came hours after the bodies of kidnapped Israeli teenagers — Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gil-ad Shaar, 16 and Naftali Fraenkel, 16 — were found partially buried in a field near the West Bank village of Halhul, north of Hebron.
The teenagers were kidnapped on the night of June 12 at a hitchhiking post outside the settlement of Alon Shvut in the Etzion Bloc south of Jerusalem.
The bodies were found at about 5:30 p.m. Monday, bound and partially buried, in an open field in a hard-to-access area. The site is less than 20 kilometers (12 miles) from where the teens had been abducted.
Israel is on the hunt for two Hamas men it says were behind the kidnappings, Marwan Kawasme and Amer Aby Aysha.
Since the start of Operation Brother’s Keeper to find them, 18 days of searches had seen the arrests of over 400 Palestinians, a majority of them members of Hamas.
On Monday, Hamas operatives launched a large volley of rockets which slammed into Israel, the first time in years the Islamist group has directly challenged the Jewish state, according to Israeli defense officials.
At least 16 rockets were fired at Israel Monday morning, most of them hitting open areas in the Eshkol region, the army said.
The security sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, assessed that Hamas had probably launched the barrage in revenge for an Israeli airstrike several hours earlier which killed one person and injured three more.
A member of Hamas’s militant wing was killed in the attack, Gaza health official Ashraf al-Kidra said.
While Israel has maintained it holds Hamas responsible for all rocket attacks, officials have said that smaller groups, such as Islamic Jihad, are usually behind the rocket attacks, while Hamas squads generally attempt to thwart the rocket fire…(read more)
- ‘Don’t test us,’ Israel warns, after air strike kills 2 Gaza terrorists (timesofisrael.com)
- Gaza surveillance cameras pick up Israeli strike on terrorists (timesofisrael.com)
- Israeli jet fighters strike Gaza (thehindu.com)
- Gaza Strip militants shoot 15 missiles on Israel (en.itar-tass.com)
- Netanyahu: If Hamas won’t stop Gaza rockets, Israel will (haaretz.com)