Islamic Jihad claims credit for rocket salvo on Israel

December 21st, 2008 - 6:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Tel Aviv/Gaza City, Dec 21 (DPA) The Islamic Jihad group took credit Sunday for firing 10 rockets into southern Israel, bringing to well over 50 the number of missiles and mortars launched since a truce with the Gaza militias expired Friday morning.The announcement from the Jihad’s military wing came in a statement sent to the media.

Israel for its part launched an air attack on a rocket-launching squad in the northern Gaza Strip. There were no reports of injuries.

One Israeli was lightly wounded by one of the rockets fired Sunday morning and a missile scored a direct hit on a house in the town of Sderot, about two kilometres from the Strip.

Palestinian rocket attacks have increased sharply since Friday, when the six-month truce came to an end and was not renewed by the Gazan militant organisations.

Both Israel and Hamas, which administers the Gaza Strip, have been trading accusations over who is to blame for the current state of affairs, with Hamas saying the rockets are a response to Israel’s tight siege of the Gaza Strip and Israel saying the siege is a response to the rocket attacks.

Analysts have been predicting that Israel and Hamas are headed for a full-scale military clash in the Gaza Strip, but Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Sunday morning that “a responsible government neither runs to battle nor runs from it”.

He told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem that Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni and Defence Minister Ehud Barak have prepared a range of scenarios for dealing with the rocket fire.

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