Rocket battle over Israel thunders on
By Aron Heller ,AP
July 12, 2014, 12:12 am TWN
JERUSALEM -- The Palestinian death toll from Israel's massive air campaign in Gaza topped 100 people Friday as rockets fired by militants reached deeper into Israel and for the first time in the fighting, struck from neighboring Lebanon.
Gaza militants have already fired more than 550 rockets against Israel in the offensive. The Israeli military says it has hit more than 1,100 targets, mostly what it identified as rocket-launching sites, bombarding the territory on average every five minutes.
In Gaza, an Israeli airstrike Friday hit the home of a well-known Islamic Jihad leader. Gaza health officials said strikes overnight killed a total of eight people, raising the death toll to at least 98. A later strike pushed the tally over 100 to go along with some 670 wounded, officials said.
In the southern Gaza city of Rafah, residents sifted through the remains of a four-story building that was struck and scattered for cover as another airstrike landed nearby.
Rocket fire continued in earnest from Gaza toward various locations in southern and central Israel, including toward Israel's international airport. The commercial center of Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion airport also heard warning sirens Friday but these rockets were intercepted and there was no disturbance to Israel's air traffic. Hamas says it intends to fire rockets at the airport and warned foreign airlines to stop flying to Israel.
Israel has shot down at least 110 incoming rockets thus far with its "Iron Dome" defense system.
Gaza rocket fire struck a gas station in southern Israel, seriously wounding one person and sending large plumes of smoke into the air.
In northern Israel, rocket fire struck near the Lebanese border and the military responded with artillery fire toward the source in southern Lebanon, military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.
The Lebanese military said militants there fired three rockets toward Israel around 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) and the Israelis retaliated by firing about 25 artillery shells on the area.