Israeli army has sent troops with tanks and artillery to the border with the Gaza Strip 0407141

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Defence & Security News - Israel

 
 
Friday, July 4, 2014 08:14 AM
 
Israeli army has sent troops with tanks and artillery to the border with the Gaza Strip.
Israeli army has sent troops to the border with the Gaza Strip, raising the possibility of an expanded operation in the Palestinian territory in response to intensifying rocket fire. Thursday's movement of tanks and artillery forces came after 11 Palestinians were wounded in Israeli air raids on Gaza, as Palestinians prepared for the funeral of a teenager who was killed in occupied East Jerusalem.
     
Israeli army has sent troops to the border with the Gaza Strip, raising the possibility of an expanded operation in the Palestinian territory in response to intensifying rocket fire. Thursday's movement of tanks and artillery forces came after 11 Palestinians were wounded in Israeli air raids on Gaza, as Palestinians prepared for the funeral of a teenager who was killed in occupied East Jerusalem.
IDF Merkava IV tanks on the Israeli side of the Gaza Strip border. July 3, 2014.
     
srael said the deployments were ordered as a defensive measure after dozens of rockets were fired into its territory from Gaza, which is ruled by the Islamist militant group Hamas. The Israeli military said that it responded Wednesday and Thursday with airstrikes on 16 Hamas targets in the strip, including rocket-launching sites and weapons warehouses.

An Israeli military spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, said the troop mobilization did not signal an intent by Israel to prepare for a military operation against Hamas, which Israel has blamed for the recent kidnapping and killings of three Israeli teenagers in the occupied West Bank. But he said any de-escalation in violence would need to start with Hamas, which reached a cease-fire agreement with Israel after an eight-day war in November 2012.

Militants in Gaza have fired nearly 100 rockets at Israel during the past 2½ weeks, according to Lerner. Since midnight Wednesday, Palestinians have fired at least 18 rockets into Israel, including one that hit a home doubling as a nursery in the southern town of Sderot. The children reached the home's bomb shelter just in time, and no one was injured, according to local media reports.
 

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