Israel Strikes Gaza as Prisoner Release Looms

Militants' Rockets Intercepted Near Ashkelon

By Reuters

Published October 28, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets at a southern Israeli coastal city on Monday and Israel’s Iron Dome interceptor shot down one while the other fell into the sea, a military spokeswoman said.

Within hours, Israel’s air force bombed what a military spokesman described as two concealed rocket launchers in northern Gaza. There were no casualties.

The pre-dawn salvo against Ashkelon, about 12 km (7 miles) north of Gaza, was unusual given the relative restraint of Palestinian militants since last November’s war between the coastal enclave’s Islamist Hamas rulers and the Jewish state.

There was no claim of responsibility for Monday’s launches.

They may have been meant to spoil the U.S.-sponsored peace talks that Hamas’s rival, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, resumed with Israel in July. To bolster Abbas, Israel is due to free 26 Palestinian prisoners this week.

During the previous prisoner release, in August, Gaza militants fired rockets across the border and Israel responded with air strikes.

Hamas has called on Abbas, who holds sway in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to abandon peacemaking and form a new Palestinian power-sharing government.

The Islamist faction has also signalled readiness to go to war, taking responsibility last week for a tunnel which the Israelis discovered running into their territory from Gaza and said was likely intended for kidnapping soldiers or setting off underground explosives.

But the sands are shifting for Hamas, which has tipped into financial and political crisis after being cut off from neighbouring Egypt by the new, military-guided interim government in Cairo.

Hamas’s ties with former backers Iran and Syria have similarly deteriorated and in Gaza its authority has at times been challenged by more radical armed Islamists.

Abbas’s administration, which was expelled from Gaza in a 2007 Palestinian civil war, has kept Hamas in check in the West Bank. So has Israel, whose troops seized two Hamas lawmakers and 23 other Palestinians in the West Bank on Monday, according to Abbas’s administration. Israeli authorities did not immediately comment on the arrests.

The Israeli military spokeswoman said a mortar bomb was fired across the border from Gaza on Sunday, but caused no damage or casualties.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.