Israel bombs three Gaza tunnels


Tel Aviv : The Israel Air Force bombed three weapons smuggling tunnels in the southern Gaza Strip border overnight, the military said Wednesday.

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The triple airstrike in the town of Rafah, on the border with Egypt, came after militants launched two projectiles from Gaza at southern Israel late Tuesday, a spokeswoman said.

She said that since the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, which started at sunset Sunday and ended at sundown Monday, Gaza militants had launched three rockets and one mortar shell from the strip at southern Israel.

She said Israel held the radical Islamist Hamas movement, in de facto control of Gaza, responsible for maintaining a fragile, unwritten truce – which has largely held since the end of 22 days of deadly Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the coastal enclave in January.

Since the end of the Gaza war Jan 18, Palestinian militants have fired some 250 rockets and mortar shells at southern Israel, the military said.

Israel has responded with airstrikes, mostly at smuggling tunnels in Rafah and at rocket launchers, to the sporadic rocket fire.

Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed in last winter’s three-week Gaza offensive, launched by Israel in a bid to end the near-daily rocket attacks from the strip. Human rights groups say nearly two-thirds of the dead were non-combatants.

A UN fact-finding mission headed by respected South African judge Richard Goldstone has accused both Israel and Hamas of having committed war crimes during the Gaza war.