News24

Rockets fired toward Israel from Lebanon, Gaza

2014-08-26 05:43

Tel Aviv - Israel was attacked on Monday from two sides, with one rocket fired out of southern Lebanon and 100 rockets launched from Gaza.

The Israel Army and Lebanon's MTV television reported that the attack from southern Lebanon, where the Shi’ite militia Hezbollah has a stronghold, was the second attack from Lebanon in as many days.

The development came on a day that saw 14 Palestinians killed by Israeli fire, medics said.

The possibility emerged of a new breakthrough in indirect Palestinian-Israeli negotiations in Cairo for a durable ceasefire, according to a source in the Islamic Hamas movement and Israeli media.

The Lebanese rocket originated in the Jarmaq area in Wadi al-Litani. Sirens echoed in Israel's Kiryat Shmona and Metulla settlements, which border Lebanon, MTV reported.

Israel Army said the rocket landed in northern Galilee.

In retaliation, Israeli artillery fired several shells on the area where the rockets originated. No group claimed responsibility for the attacks. After Saturday's attack out of Lebanon, Israel warned of tough consequences if the attacks continued.

Gaza militants claimed to have seized an Israeli reconnaissance drone that downed in the northern Gaza Strip, according to al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' armed wing.

‘Nothing definitive’

The ongoing Israeli offensive on the Gaza Strip, which started on 8 July, killed 14 Palestinians including a local journalist and wounded 50, medics said.

More than 60 targets were struck on Monday in Gaza, a spokesperson for the Israeli military said, while Palestinian militants claimed to have fired some 100 rockets at Israel.

Israeli aircraft fired four missiles into a 14-storey residential tower, known as the Italian residential compound, around midnight in northern Gaza City, pro-Hamas al-Aqsa Television reported.

Health Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qedra said that dozens of people were wounded in the strike on the residential tower, which has 100 flats and 150 stores. Ambulances rushed to the neighbourhood.

A 13-storey resident tower was destroyed by an Israeli airstrike Saturday in Gaza City's Remal neighbourhood.

Many Palestinian rockets fell on open ground near the border between Gaza and Israel, the Israelis said. There were no Israeli injuries, but property was damaged.

The Israeli news site Walla reported that Egypt could still mediate a month-long truce overnight.

According to the report, Egypt could open the Rafah border crossing with Gaza to allow for passenger traffic.

In return for a cessation of rockets and mortar attacks from Gaza, Israel would reportedly agree to expand the fishing zone and open the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Reacting to the reports of a possible new ceasefire agreement, an official of the Islamist Hamas movement that runs Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, said efforts were continuing" "Up to now there is nothing definitive."

The Israelis have had several rounds of indirect talks on a new truce with a wide-ranging Palestinian delegation in Cairo, but the latest effort broke down a week ago.

While Palestinian negotiators remain in Cairo, Israeli officials have said that an agreement is possible only after a ceasefire has been maintained.

More than 2 131 Palestinians have been killed in the last seven weeks and 10 854 injured, according to Palestinian officials in Gaza.

Sixty-four soldiers and four civilians have died on the Israeli side.

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