Israel launched several air strikes on ‘militant’ targets early yesterday as the Israeli military continued to pound targets in the Gaza Strip for a third day in an ongoing conflict that has thus far killed 10 Palestinians and Injured 13. Israel claimed to have killed a militant from the Popular Resistance Committees yesterday, after three consecutive days of fighting left 10 Palestinians dead, three of whom were civilians. The three civilians killed, included two teenage boys and a two-year-old girl, additionally 13 civilians were injured during the strikes.
Rocket firing began on Monday when the military aimed set its sights on militant targets in Beit Hanoun, north of Gaza, leaving two militants from the Al-Quds Brigades dead and four other militants injured. They were allegedly killed while attempting to fire a rocket into Israel. Five civilians were also injured by the Israeli strikes on Monday. Israel said that the raid had been launched in response to rockets fired from Gaza. Two more militants believed to be from Al-Aqsa brigades were killed in a separate air strike on Gaza.
In retaliation, the Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed group affiliated with Hamas, fired several rockets from Gaza into Israel on Tuesday, with no reports of casualties on the Israeli side. Very early on Tuesday, an Israeli air raid killed two Palestinian militants in central Gaza. Later in the afternoon, an Israeli airstrike injured two men.
In a separate incident, Israel was consumed in even more turmoil on Monday following an attack on the Egyptian-Israeli border when an Israeli construction worker was killed and another one was injured by militias from Sinai. Israel,in response,shot two of the militants who crossed the Israeli border from Sinai early Monday morning. Gaza has been under blockade imposed by Egypt and Israel since June 2007. Over one and half million people are living under the blockade, half of which are children. Gaza has astoundingly high unemployment rates, poverty rates and a water and electricity crisis. On the anniversary of the blockade, over 50 non-governmental agencies and the United Nations called on Israel to lift the devastating blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip. In December 2008 and January 2009, Gaza was the target of heavy- shelling by Israel in an attack that lasted three weeks known as “Operation Cast Lead,” which left over 1,000 Palestinians dead. The rockets fired by Ezzedeen El-Qassam Brigades left 13 dead on the Israeli side.