Israeli rescue services Wednesday reported a “massive” cross-border rocket barrage by Palestinian militants from the— hours after an Israeli air strike in the first major exchange of fire since a truce took effect in June.
The Israeli military said in a statement that at least 35 rockets were fired from the strip early Wednesday, but there was no immediate word of injuries or damage.
The militant group Hamas said it fired the rockets.
Israel launched an airstrike on earlier Wednesday after its troops fought a fierce gunbattle with Hamas militants who then fired mortars into southern Israel. The fighting killed six Palestinians and threatened to unravel the truce that had mostly quieted violence in the volatile territory.
The violence was sparked after thesaid its forces uncovered a tunnel about 300 yards inside the central Gaza Strip that militants planned to use to abduct Israeli soldiers. It said a special army unit headed to the area to destroy the tunnel….
A senior military official said troops had discovered a tunnel that was about to be used to abduct an Israeli soldier. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the matter, said the tunnel was dug from inside a Gaza home, illustrating that Hamas was using civilians for cover.
“We don’t have any intention of breaking the truce, we are working to isolate this threat,” the official said, noting that some 60 mortars had been fired since the truce and Israel had chosen not to respond.
Posted on November 5, 2008 by Texas Hill Country