Israeli jets bombed targets in the Gaza Strip overnight after rockets were fired from the besieged territory. Witnesses said that most of the targets were open spaces used as military bases by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement. Medical sources confirmed that there were no casualties.
According to the Israeli occupation forces, only two of the six rockets launched from Gaza were intercepted by the much-vaunted and hugely expensive Iron Dome missile defence system. As well as launching the airstrikes, Israel has closed all crossing points into Gaza from the territory under its control until further notice.
Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for the Gaza Strip to be re-occupied by Israel in order to stop rockets being launched towards Israel. In international law Israel is still regarded as the occupying power as it controls the airspace, coastal waters and most of the borders.
It is claimed that the latest escalation started when Palestinian police officers wanted to speak to a member of Islamic Jihad in Gaza in connection with the kidnapping of a civilian. The man refused to attend the police station so three officers went to his home.
According to eyewitnesses, an argument ensued and both sides opened fire with live bullets. It has not been confirmed whether the Islamic Jihad member was killed by the police or by his own gun, although witnesses say it was the latter. As a result of this, the organisation severed relations with the Hamas-led government in Gaza and launched a barrage of rockets at Israeli settlements. Israel holds Hamas responsible for all rockets launched from Gaza, something that Islamic Jihad must know, so it looks as if the rockets were intended to create the maximum embarrassment and difficulty for the government.