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News number: 8710260900

17:41 | 2009-01-15


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More Hamas Rockets Hit Israeli Towns

TEHRAN (FNA)- Tel Aviv's military campaign against the Gaza Strip failed to curb rocket attacks as Palestinian fighters fire more missiles into Israel.

Israeli media said on Thursday that two Qassam rockets, fired from the Gaza Strip, struck the southern Israeli city of Ofakim while five other rockets hit Eshkol region.

In addition, four Qassam-Type missiles hit Israeli settlement in Sderot, where the settlers recently applied for Canadian visas citing fears of Palestinian fighters "constant" rocket firings from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli officials confirmed that 16 resistance missiles hit deferent Israeli settlements over almost 30 minutes.

On Wednesday, Palestinian Grad-style rockets landed in the Israeli cities of Ashkelon, Be'er Sheva, Yavneh and Ashdod.

This is while Israeli troops and tanks which have been trying to enter the Gaza City are still being held outside the city by the resistance fighters.

Furthermore, Eighteen Israeli soldiers have been wounded during clashes in the Tal al-Hawa district south of Gaza City, Israeli paper Ha'aretz reported Thursday.

Since the start of the Israeli incursion into the Gaza Strip on January 3, Palestinian groups have fired rockets deeper into Israel, hitting two Israeli military bases near Tel Aviv for the first time, Hamas affiliated Al-Aqsa television said.

Last Friday, al-Qassam Grad rockets hit a major Israeli airbase 27 kilometers (16 miles) outside Tel Aviv. On Sunday, a Palestinian rocket struck Israeli Palmachim Air Force base 15 Kilometers (9 miles) away from Tel Aviv.

The Israeli army has not been able to capture the areas in which the Palestinian rockets are fired from.

Tel Aviv launched an "all-out war" against the Gaza Strip on December 27, in a bid to halt the rocket attacks on Israeli towns - an objective it has so far failed to achieve.

Later, however, Israeli officials said that the main goal of the "Operation Cast Lead" was to topple the democratically elected Hamas government in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians say they fire the rockets into Israel, in response to Tel Aviv's fatal strikes on Gazans. The fighters say they will only observe a cease-fire if Israel withdraws from Gaza and ends the devastating blockade imposed on the territory since June 2007 - which has left the strip's already impoverished population living in dire circumstances.

Israel's aerial, naval and ground incursions have so far claimed 1,038 Palestinian lives in the densely-populate area. Another 4,700 have also been wounded.