Israeli Airstrikes Kill 13 in Gaza

Biggest offensive in months against militants
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2007 7:17 AM CST
Palestinian medics and relatives wheel the body of a Hamas police officer, killed by an Israeli airstrike, into Al Najar hospital in Rafah southern Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2007. Israeli aircraft...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Israeli airstrikes rained down on Gaza militants today, killing at least 13 in a series of separate attacks, Reuters reports. It was the country’s most intense offensive in months, a response to the frequent but largely ineffectual rocket attacks lobbed across the border. In response, militants threatened a round of suicide bombings, something Israel hasn’t seen in 11 months.

Most of the attacks targeted the Islamic Jihad faction, killing a senior commander, while another hit Hamas. “I can tell you that targeted killings have led to a drastic drop in terror attacks,” said Israel’s vice premier. Border residents, targets of some 2,000 rocket attacks, favor a ground offensive, but the government prefers these “surgical strikes.”