Wed, Jan 12, 2011 - Page 6 News List

Gaza Strip militants fire more rockets into Israel

AFP and AP, JERUSALEM and NEW YORK

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel yesterday, causing no injuries, the Israeli military said.

The rocket was the latest in a salvo of projectiles fired from the coastal enclave in Israel, raising tensions along the border with Gaza and fears of a new Israeli incursion into the territory.

“A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed this morning in the western region of the Negev Desert without causing any injuries,” a military spokeswoman said.

Militants on Monday fired three rockets into an industrial section of the city of Ashkelon, without causing any injuries or damage.

In the past, Ashkelon, 10km north of Gaza, has become a frequent target of Palestinian rocket squads in Gaza when clashes escalate.

Around 24 rockets and mortar rounds have been fired from the area into Israel since the beginning of this year, according to military figures.

The rocket fire has prompted a series of retaliatory Israeli air raids on Gaza, including twin raids launched overnight on Sunday.

Israel has said it holds Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, responsible for the continued rocket fire, raising fears the Jewish state plans a repeat of its deadly December 2008 to January 2009 Operation Cast Lead offensive.

The 22-day war, which ended in a ceasefire on Jan. 18, 2009, killed 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 13 Israelis, 10 of them soldiers.

Hamas has said it does not want another war, and that it is working to convince militant groups in Gaza to avoid provoking a new confrontation with Israel.

In another incident on Monday, a 65-year-old Gaza man was shot dead from an Israeli guard tower on the border, according to Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Adham Abu Salmia. The Israeli military said it had no knowledge of the shooting.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper reported on Monday that EU consuls in Jerusalem have recommended that east Jerusalem should already be treated as the capital of a Palestinian state. EU officials in Brussels would not confirm the report.

However, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat vowed on Monday that the city would never be divided to allow the eastern side to become the capital of a future Palestinian state.

“It’s not going to happen, it’s not natural, it’s the wrong thing to do from any perspective,” he said during a visit to New York.

Barkat also joined government rejections of international criticism of an historic east Jerusalem hotel to make way for settler homes.

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