Thursday, January 7, 2010

In response to Mortar attack , Israel launches air strike in Gaza City

(Reuters) - Several explosions were heard on Thursday night in Gaza City, in what Hamas and Palestinian radio stations said was the result of an Israeli air strike.

Smoke and flames were visible from the site of the blasts. The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the attack which came hours after Palestinian militants fired about a dozen mortars and rockets at Israel from the coastal territory.

The Israel Air Force dropped thousands of warning leaflets over Gaza, warning Gaza residents to stay away from the border with Israel and to avoid involvement in smuggling, Ma'an news agency reported.

One of the leaflets featured a map, and warns Gazans that anyone within 300 meters of the security fence is endangering himself.

Another leaflet urged Gazans not to sit idly by as smugglers put them and their communities in harm's way. It included a phone number and e-mail address for anyone willing to provide information about the smuggling tunnels.