Gaza militants fired SAM missile: Israeli sources
Palestinian militants have made an unsuccessful attempt to shoot down an Israeli aircraft over the Gaza Strip with a surface-to-air missile, Israeli security sources told AFP on Tuesday.
In last week's incident, militants fired a Soviet-made Strela missile at an Israeli aircraft but missed, they said, without specifying what had been targeted.
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The sources said that the military has been aware for some time that Gaza militants had such weapons in their arsenal, but that this was the first confirmed firing of a Strela from the coastal territory.
The incident occurred as Israeli aircraft were in action during a spike in cross-border violence, with militants firing rockets and mortar rounds.
The latest bout of unrest began on October 7 when an Israeli air strike targeted two Gaza Salafists in the southern city of Rafah, killing one and critically wounding a second.
Five children and three adults were also injured in the strike, prompting a rare armed response from Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants, who fired a barrage of rockets at Israel.
The violence rumbled on until the weekend, when a series of Israeli air strikes killed five militants, including a top Salafist leader.
Top-selling Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot accused the Islamist Hamas movement ruling Gaza of responsibility for firing the SAM missile.
"The Hamas decision to make use of an anti-aircraft missile against an IAF aircraft demonstrates its desire to escalate the level of warfare against Israel," the paper wrote.
Â© 2012 AFP
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Source : AFP