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Palestinian radicals deliver air strikes on Tel Aviv

July 21, 2014, 15:54 UTC+3 TEL AVIV
Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system has destroyed two rockets; no casualties have been reported
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Rockets launched by military of Hamas in Gaza City

Rockets launched by military of Hamas in Gaza City

© EPA/MOHAMMED SABER

TEL AVIV, July 21. /ITAR-TASS/. Palestinian radicals from Gaza have delivered air strikes on Tel Aviv, the Israeli army’s press service said.

Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system has destroyed two rockets. No casualties have been reported, the press service said on Monday.

On July 8, 2014, the Israel Defense Forces announced the start of the operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip against Hamas militants. The IDF made strikes on 50 targets in the Gaza Strip, most of which were launching platforms for rockets. Five Palestinians were killed and some 20 were wounded.

The immediate reason for the operation was that cities in southern Israel were massively shelled by Hamas military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. According to the Israeli army’s press service, on July 7, some 90 missiles were fired on Israel from the Gaza Strip. As of early July, 450 missiles had been fired since the start of 2014.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the IDF to prepare for a possible ground operation. Israel announced mobilization of 1,500 reservists and sent two army brigades to the border with Gaza.

Later, on July 15, there was a brief ceasefire. Israel, the IDF said, abstained from strikes on the Gaza Strip for six hours on Tuesday since 09:00 local time while abiding by a ceasefire agreement suggested as part of Egypt’s peace initiative. But Palestinian militants rejected Cairo’s plan and continued rocket attacks on Israel all this time. At 15:00 local time, Netanyahu ordered the IDF to resume strikes against Gaza.

Hamas regularly shells Israel’s territory with homemade rockets. In response, Israel shells Gaza and holds military operations there to suppress militant activity and destroy Hamas’ military structure. According to Hamas, 1,365 Israelis died in 1987-2011 in terrorist attacks made by its militants.

The UN Human Rights Council will gather for a special session on July 23 over the situation in Gaza. US Secretary of State John Kerry is currently in the region on a visit to persuade Israel and the Hamas movement to sign a truce agreement.

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