World

Israeli shelling completely destroys al-Aqsa TV headquarters in Gaza

Israeli shelling completely destroys al-Aqsa TV headquarters in Gaza

An Israeli air strike destroyed Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV building in the Gaza Strip on Monday after a series of warning shots, AFP journalists reported, drawing threats of a harsh response from Palestinian militants.

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Monday that Israel has boosted forces near the Gaza border with additional infantry troops, defensive systems and intelligence units.

One Israeli was killed and at least 20 others were wounded in a massive rocket barrage on Monday.

A statement from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, said "Zionist enemy special forces", in a civilian auto, reached 3.2km into Gaza, east of the Palestinian town of Khan Younis.

In a statement, Hamas says it all started when a plain-clothes Israeli special forces unit in a civilian vehicle killed Nour Barakeh, 37, a mid-level commander in the Hamas military wing, Izzedine al-Qassam, in Khan Younis.

The botched Israeli raid in Gaza on Sunday left seven Palestinian militants and an Israeli officer dead.

The soldier who was injured was apparently standing outside the bus when the Kornet anti-tank guided missile was sacked from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian militant groups in Gaza, including Hamas, claimed responsibility for the rocket fire and the missile attack on the bus, which they said was being used by Israeli soldiers.

Militant group the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine said two of those killed were its members, while the third was from Islamic Jihad's armed wing. The Israeli military said it intercepted 70 rockets, and most of the others fell in open spaces.




The Israeli soldier killed Sunday, whose name remains undisclosed, was 41 and a father of two.

Rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip toward Israel, Nov. 12, 2018.

Israel provided few details on Sunday's operation, saying it was carried out by special forces and resulted in an "exchange of fire".

The flare-up comes at a surprising time, with the Israeli prime minister overseas speaking specifically about avoiding "unnecessary war" with Gaza, but also as it appeared that Hamas and Israel moved closer to a ceasefire agreement.

A picture taken from the Gaza Strip on November 12, 2018 shows missiles being launched toward Israel. "The force waged a heroic and very complex battle and was able to exfiltrate in its entirety". The outgoing rockets, which continued into the evening, lit up the skies of Gaza and set off air raid sirens throughout southern Israel.

The Palestinian funerals were held Monday afternoon. The UN chief said that the tensions in Gaza should be defused as soon as possible, warning that otherwise it could turn into a "massive tragedy".

Netanyahu described the move as "the right step". "It's a question of alternatives", Netanyahu said Saturday.

In a tweet after his arrival back home, Netanyahu praised the slain officer, whose identity was being kept confidential for security reasons, and said "our forces acted courageously".

Associated Press writer Fares Akram reported in Gaza City and AP writer Josef Federman reported from Jerusalem.


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