News

Israeli Airstrikes Kill 6 in Gaza; Militants Fire 30 Rockets at Israel

Israeli police engineers look at a camera as they examine the site after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip hit the city of Ashdod. Israeli airstrikes killed Palestinian civilians and militants in the Gaza Strip, March 12, 2012.
Israeli police engineers look at a camera as they examine the site after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip hit the city of Ashdod. Israeli airstrikes killed Palestinian civilians and militants in the Gaza Strip, March 12, 2012.

Israeli airstrikes killed six Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian militants fired more rockets into southern Israel Monday, in a fourth day of fighting that drew renewed concern from the international community.

Palestinian medics say Monday's airstrikes on Gaza killed four militants and two civilians - a man in his 60s and his daughter. The Israeli military said its aircraft hit several militant targets, including a weapons storage facility and rocket launching sites.

Gaza militants fired at least 30 rockets at southern Israel during the day, with several landing inside Israeli communities. No casualties were reported.

Israeli airstrikes in Gaza have killed 24 Palestinians, all but four of them militants, since the fighting erupted on Friday. The militants have fired more than 100 rockets at southern Israel, wounding several Thai agricultural workers, forcing schools to close, and disrupting the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis.

Listen to an excerpt of the interivew with Ashdod resident Yaniv Cackon

A resident of the southern Israeli city of Ashdod, reached by telephone, said public morale is high because the community is providing activities for children, and people are following government instructions on how to protect themselves from rocket fire.

Yaniv Cackon said the Israeli government should use the "minimum force needed to keep its citizens safe," while also helping to "create a culture of peace on both sides" of the conflict.

Listen to an excerpt of the interivew with Palestinian political analyst Mahmoud Ajrami

Gaza-based political analyst Mahmoud Ajrami told VOA that Gaza is "paralyzed," with many residents too scared to go to work or move around the territory because of "around the clock" attacks by the Israeli air force and navy. He also said many Gazans believe Israel sought to escalate the conflict in order to test the capabilities of militants suspected of acquiring more powerful rockets.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed grave concern about the latest escalation in violence between Gaza and Israel, saying civilians are paying a "terrible price." In remarks to the U.N. Security Council Monday, he said rocket fire on Israeli civilians is "unacceptable," and he urged Israel to exercise "maximum restraint."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also addressed the Council, saying Washington condemns rocket attacks by Gaza "terrorists" in the strongest terms and demands immediate action to stop them.

The Quartet of Mideast peace mediators called for calm in the region. Monday's appeal by the United Nations, the United States, the European Union and Russia came in a statement released after Quartet representatives met at U.N. headquarters in New York.

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby called for the U.N. Security Council to take a decisive stance against what he called Israel's "brutal actions" and "systematic assassinations of Palestinian opposition activists."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the Israeli military is prepared to expand its operations as much as necessary against "terrorists" who try to harm Israelis.

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for most of the rocket fire. In a statement Monday, the group vowed to continue rocket attacks on Israeli cities as long as Israel refuses to stop targeting militants. Islamic Jihad also criticized efforts by some Palestinians to secure a truce with Israel through Egyptian mediators, saying those people should exert pressure on the Israeli "enemy" rather than Gaza's "resistance" fighters.

The fighting began Friday when an Israeli airstrike killed two senior Gaza militants who Israel says were planning an imminent attack. Israel says one of the militants, Zuhair al-Qaissi, plotted an attack last August in which terrorists sneaked into southern Israel from Egypt and killed eight people.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site -
Middle East Voices
. Follow our Middle East reports on
Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin
This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs