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Hamas fires rockets into Israel after airstrikes kill six

The armed wing of Hamas has fired more than 12 rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel.

A Palestinian fighter from the Popular Resistance Committee, an Islamist coalition of militants based in the Gaza Strip, attends a training session in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza in December 2010. (MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images)

The armed wing of Hamas has fired more than 12 rockets and mortars from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel in response to Israeli airstrikes on the territory that have left at least six Palestinians dead in recent days.

The rocket fire from the al-Qassam Brigades – a rarity, given Hamas’ tacit truce with Israel – followed the deaths of two 17-year-old Palestinian teenagers shortly after midnight Tuesday in an Israeli strike on Deir al-Balah in central Gaza. Witnesses told the Agence France Presse the two had been attempting to breach Israel’s security fence when they were hit. The Israeli military said it had struck “a terrorist squad handling an explosive device.”

Four other Gazans have died in Israeli air attacks over the past few days. According to, two suspected militants were killed whilst riding a motorbike near the northern town of Beit Hanoun on Monday evening.

Militants from other Palestinian groups in Gaza have fired more than 275 rockets and mortars into Israel since January, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement Monday, according to Haaretz. It is unclear why Hamas’ armed wing has now chosen to engage Israel directly.

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Meanwhile, a militant group calling itself the Mujahideen Shura Council of Jerusalem claimed responsibility for an attack just inside Israel’s southern border with Egypt on Monday, in which two men crossed into Israel from the lawless Sinai peninsula and opened fire on civilians working on the construction of a border security force, according to the BBC.

One of the Israeli workers was killed, while both attackers – identified by the militant group as an Egyptian and a Saudi – died in clashes with Israeli forces, the Associated Press reported.

Anton Batey More than 1 year ago
Not sure why the author rhetorically said, "It is unclear why Hamas' armed wing has now chosen to engage Israel directly", when at the beginning of the article the author answered his own question by pointing out that Israel attacked Gaza in Dayr al-Balah, which is only blocks from the Mediterranean (NOT from Israel) and killed two teenagers. But I guess all you need to do is call them a couple of "terrorists" and that will justify literally ANYTHING Israel does, huh?
Mohhamad Sleiman More than 1 year ago
Hamas winks at the international community The article written by the head of the Hamas government in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh in the British newspaper The Guardian raises a great interest in the Palestinian arena. the Haniyeh article asserts that the Palestinians do not want to further bloodshed, but want to achieve justice and freedom for the Palestinian people, who have suffered from decades of repression, stressing that security for the Palestinians is in the interest of all peoples of the Middle East.The article sparked anger of many in Fatah, the political opponent of Hamas. First, the article is said to be an attempt to make contact with the Western world in order to gain legitimacy for Hamas in the international arena. Secondly, Hamas did not publish the article in its website, suggesting that it was written solely for propaganda reasons. Thirdly, Fatah expressed doubts over the credibility of its content.A source from the Fatah movement, in a call with, expressed surprise about the Haniyeh article, saying that its contents demonstrated "trickery and cunning." Regarding Haniyeh's claim that Hamas is not interested in shedding more blood, and is only interested in gaining justice and rights for the Palestinians, the source said: "There have been attempts to reach a settlement over the past 25 years, but Haniyeh and his partners prevented any possibility of progress. How can Haniyeh say now he is for a just peace, security, and stability?"The source added that there is open fear that Hamas is trying to take over the PLO through the word of reconciliation and that Haniyeh's Guardian article has no basis in truth at all. It is this spirit of reconciliation attempts by serious or not explicit.Haniyeh does not speak in his article about the non-recognition of Israel or of anything Hamas has to offer in the political process. He is not talking about the border, but writing trivial slogans that are no longer of any benefit to the Palestinian cause.