Israeli warplanes target Rafah, artillery fire hits north 22Mar10 March 23, 2010

Ma’an News Agency -  22 March 2010


Israeli warplanes struck a smuggling tunnel in the Jaradat neighborhood of Rafah overnight, while artillery fire hit an area near the northern border, witnesses said.

No injuries were reported, though the southern smuggling tunnel and agricultural land in the north were destroyed by the fire.

Eyewitnesses said an Israeli F16 fired one missile at the tunnel, obliterating the entrance and setting a fire in the underground passage.

An Israeli military spokesman said the strike targeted a “weapons smuggling tunnel,” and was in “response to rocket fire” from Gaza in recent days.

A homemade projectile hit south of Ashkelon overnight Sunday, with no damages or injuries reported.

Director of ambulance and emergency services in Gaza, Muawiya Hassanein, confirmed reports that a shell was launched at an open area in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip.

An Israeli military spokesman said he had no knowledge of military activity in the area.

He noted “Israel will not tolerate terror activity targeting citizens,” and said Israel “holds Hamas responsible” for maintaining calm in Gaza. The spokesman recalled that nine projectiles were launched from Gaza since Thursday.

Twelve Palestinians were injured in three Israeli airstrikes in Gaza on Sunday morning.

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