Palestinian militants have fired homemade rockets into an Israeli town, hitting a house. They said it was in retaliation for a new Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in the deaths of at least 13 Palestinians in two days.
Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said: “The purpose of the Israeli operation is defensive in that we are trying to protect our citizens. We have unfortunately had hundreds of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, 300 from Beit Hanoun alone. These rockets are aimed indiscriminately at our civilian population and it is our obligation to prevent such launches.”
Israeli forces backed by tanks have killed four Palestinians in Gaza, according to medical sources, further dimming the chances of peace talks resuming.
Hamas spokesman Ghazi Hamed says the government is seeking international help to stop the Israeli operation: “We’ve sent some messages to many countries, to Arabic countries, to European countries in order to be involved but really until now we did not see that there are serious steps from these countries.”
One of the Palestinian civilians, a 75-year-old man, was reportedly killed when he went on to the balcony of his home in Beit Hanoun to bring his disabled son inside.
Several children were also wounded when their house was hit by Israeli artillery.