Israel bombs Gaza after rocket fire as its military attaché set to stay in Turkey

Israeli war planes bombed an alleged weapons manufacturing site in the central Gaza Strip overnight after a rocket was fired from the Palestinian territory, Israel’s army said on Tuesday.

The rocket landed in southern Israel but caused no damage or injuries, the army said. There were no immediate reports from Gaza of injuries from the Israeli strike.

The rocket fire came despite a ceasefire that came into force after a spasm of violence that followed a militant attack in Eilat on August 18, which left eight Israelis dead.

Israel responded with a series of air strikes in Gaza, killing 26 Palestinians, and militant groups in the coastal enclave fired dozens of rockets into the Jewish state.

Meanwhile, an official said on Tuesday that Israel’s military attaché will remain at the Jewish state’s embassy in Turkey despite a brewing crisis between the nations that saw Ankara expel the Israeli ambassador.

“There’s no break with Turkey: the proof is that our military attaché in Ankara will remain in his office and that consular services there will continue to function,” senior defense ministry official Amos Gilad told Israeli public radio.

“A solution to this crisis must be found,” he added, saying Israel should seek to resolve it through its European and US connections, as well as through NATO.

“Turkey has a lot to lose with an extremist policy,” he said.

Formerly-close ties between Israel and Turkey frayed in the wake of a deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla of aid ships trying to breach the blockade on the Gaza Strip in May 2010.

The raid killed nine Turkish citizens, prompting Ankara to demand Israel apologize, pay compensation and lift the blockade on Gaza before ties could be repaired.

Israel refused the terms and in recent days relations have sunk to a new low following publication of a UN report on the deadly raid, which accused Israel of using excessive force but endorsed its naval blockade, infuriating Turkey and the Palestinians.

After details of the report were leaked to the press, Ankara on Friday said it was expelling the Israeli ambassador and suspending military agreements with the Jewish state.

It repeated a call for a lifting of the blockade and threatened to lodge a case against Israel before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. (alarabiya)


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