Israeli airstrikes pound Gaza after rocket fire

Israeli airstrikes pound Gaza after rocket fire
2 min read
03 June, 2018
A dozen targets in the Gaza Strip were struck by Israeli missiles on Sunday, just hours after thousands attended the funeral of a female volunteer medic killed by Israeli snipers.
Israeli aircraft pounded over a dozen targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday. [Getty]
Israeli aircraft pounded over a dozen targets in the Gaza Strip on Sunday after Palestinian rockets fire targeted southern Israel.

The weekend launches were the first since Israel struck scores of militant sites in Gaza earlier this week in retaliation for a barrage of rockets and missiles fired from the territory.

The latest escalation came hours after thousands of Palestinians attended the funeral of a young female volunteer medic killed by Israeli snipers on the border in southern Gaza.

The Israeli military said it hit 15 Hamas targets, including military compounds, munition factories and naval forces, in response to the rocket fire.

On Saturday evening, militants in the besieged Palestinian enclave fired two projectiles at southern Israel, where air raid sirens sent residents to bomb shelters.

The Iron Dome aerial defence system intercepted one of the projectiles, while the other was believed to have fallen short of its target and hit within Gaza, according to the army.

Early on Sunday, four more projectiles were separately launched at Israel. Three were intercepted, the army said, with the fourth apparently hitting an open field.

No group in Gaza claimed responsibility for the projectile attacks, which came shortly after the Saturday funeral of Razan al-Najjar, 21, a volunteer with the Gaza health ministry, who was fatally shot in the chest by Israeli soldiers near Khan Yunis on Friday.

Ambulances and medical crews attended the funeral, with Najjar's father holding the white blood-stained medics' jacket she wore when she was shot, as mourners called for revenge.

Gazans have since 30 March staged border protests demanding the return of Palestinians to land they fled or were expelled from during the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation.

Protesters have also demonstrated against the crippling decade-long Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip.

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli soldiers and more than 13,000 injured since the demonstrations began.

No Israelis have been killed and only a few soldiers have suffered minor injuries.

On Saturday, the Arab League condemned the US decision to veto a UN draft resolution calling for measures to protect Palestinians amid the deadly crackdown by Israeli forces.

The league's head, Ahmed Abul Gheit, made the remarks in a statement saying the move will embolden Israeli authorities in its campaign of shooting and killing protesters.

The Kuwait-drafted text had called for "measures to guarantee the safety and protection" of Palestinian civilians in Gaza and the occupied West Bank, and requested a UN report to propose an "international protection mechanism."