Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cécile Duflot ruffles some feathers

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media accused of pro-protester bias in Ferguson

Read more

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment (part 2)

Read more

  • US demands Russia withdraw aid convoy from Ukraine

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Gunmen kill scores in Iraqi Sunni mosque attack

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu set to be Erdogan's new PM

    Read more

  • Hollande is ‘nobody’s president’ says former French minister

    Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Middle east

Israel's 'Iron Dome' intercepts Hamas rocket over Tel Aviv

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-17

Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ defence system intercepted a rocket over Tel Aviv on Saturday, hours after intensifying air strikes on strategic targets, including Hamas headquarters.

Latest developments:

  • Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi said there were indications a truce could "soon" be reached.
  • France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah on Sunday.
  • Israel’s “Iron Dome” intercepted a Fajr 5 rocket over Tel Aviv on Saturday afternoon, with no casualties reported. A second rocket hit uninhabited land outside of the city.
  • Hamas' headquarters were hit by four air strikes, the group reported.
  • At least 44 Palestinians—including 13 civilians—and three Israelis have so far been killed since the fighting erupted last week. 
  • Iran has denied supplying long-range missiles to Hamas.
     

Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with more than 180 airstrikes early Saturday, the military said, widening a blistering assault on militant operations to include the prime minister’s headquarters, a police compound and a vast network of smuggling tunnels.

The new attacks followed an unprecedented rocket strike from Gaza aimed at the contested holy city of Jerusalem that raised the stakes in Israel’s violent confrontation with Palestinian militants.
 
On Saturday, Israel’s “Iron Dome” anti-missile battery system intercepted a rocket over Tel Aviv, with no casualties reported.
 
Israeli aircraft also kept pounding their original targets, the militants’ weapons storage facilities and underground rocket launching sites. The Israeli military called up 75,000 reservists and amassed troops, tanks and armored vehicles along the border with Hamas-ruled Gaza, signaling a ground invasion could be imminent.

Undaunted by the heavy damage the Israeli attacks have inflicted, militants have unleashed some 500 rockets against the Jewish state, including new, longer-range weapons turned for the first time this week against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel's second most populous city.
 
In all, 44 Palestinians, including 13 civilians, and three Israeli civilians have been killed since Wednesday.
 
Targeting Hamas’ ‘symbols of power’
 
Israel had been slowly expanding its operation beyond military targets but before dawn on Saturday it ramped that up dramatically, hitting Hamas' symbols of power.
 
A three-story apartment building belonging to a Hamas military commander was hit, and ambulances ferried out more than 30 inhabitants wounded by the powerful explosion.
 
The Interior Ministry said a government compound was hit while devout Muslims streamed to the area for early morning prayers, although it did not report any casualties from that attack. Also hit was a cabinet building where the Hamas prime minister has his offices. Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh was not inside.
 
The Hamas government said its cabinet headquarters was targeted with four strikes, and witnesses reported extensive damage to the building.
 
On Saturday Tunisian Foreign Minister Rafik Abdesslem visited the Gaza Strip and denounced the Israeli attacks as unacceptable and against international law.

“Israel should understand that many things have changed and that lots of water has run in the Arab river,” Abdesslem said as he surveyed Prime Minister Haniyeh's office, reduced to rubble.

“(Israel) should realise it no longer has a free hand. It does not have total immunity and is not above international law,” he added. “What Israel is doing is not legitimate and is not acceptable at all.”

Iran has also been drawn into the conflict, after Hamas said it had fired Iranian long-range Fajr-5 rockets. Iran’s Foreign Minister Allaeddine Boroujerdi on Saturday denied having supplied the rockets to the Palestinian militants.

Signs of a truce

As the violence has escalated so too have international efforts to stem it. In Cairo, Egypt's President Mohamed Morsi said his government was in contact with Israelis and Palestinians and there were indications they could "soon" reach a truce.

Arab ministers at an Arab League meeting in the Egytpian capital threw their support behind Morsi's efforts to achieve a ceasefire, and announced that a delegation of League ministers will visit Gaza in the next one or two days.

France's Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius will also travel to Jerusalem and Ramallah on Sunday.

The United States meanwhile has also been monitoring the situation, with US President Barack Obama having spoken separately with Israeli and Egyptian leaders since the conflict flared.

Obama called Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to discuss how the two countries could help bring an end to escalating violence between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, a White House official said on Saturday.

In a speech at Cairo University the same day, Erdogan was reported saying that Israel would be held to account for the civilian deaths caused by the air strikes on Gaza. "Everyone must know that sooner or later there will be a holding to account for the massacre of these innocent children killed inhumanely in Gaza.”

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

 

Date created : 2012-11-17

  • PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES - ISRAEL

    Hamas targets Jerusalem as Egypt backs Gaza

    Read more

  • PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Egypt denounces Israeli ‘aggression’ in Gaza

    Read more

  • PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Israel and Hamas wage online war of words

    Read more

COMMENT(S)