Middle East

Hamas fires rocket at Israel's Ben Gurion airport

A security officer leads a dog as they patrol the hall past a sign directing passengers to a shelter of Ben Gurion International airport, Tel Aviv August 21, 2014. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

GAZA CITY, Palestine: The Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian resistance faction Hamas, fired a home-made rocket at Israel's Ben Gurion airport Thursday.

In a statement, Qassam said that its fighters had fired an M75 rocket at the airport, located some 15 km southeast of Tel Aviv.

The move came one day after a Hamas spokesman called on international airline carriers to halt all flights to the airport as of Thursday to avoid being struck by incoming rockets.

According to Israeli radio, scores of flights to the airport have been rescheduled for "security reasons."

Violence flared again Tuesday following the collapse of Egypt-hosted indirect talks aimed at reaching a permanent cease-fire deal, with Israel accusing Palestinian resistance factions of violating a temporary truce with a rocket barrage.

The claim was denied by Hamas, however, which in turn accused Israel of attempting to derail cease-fire talks in Cairo.

Since hostilities began on July 7, at least 2069 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip - the vast majority of them civilians - and more than 10,000 injured in relentless Israeli attacks, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

According to Israeli figures, meanwhile, at least 64 soldiers and three civilians have been killed.

Since 2007, the Gaza Strip has reeled under a crippling Israeli blockade that has taken an enormous toll on the coastal territory's economy and played havoc with residents' livelihoods.





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