Five Palestinians killed in deadly Gaza flare-up

Hamas, Gaza's dominant Islamist movement, and other armed factions launched more than 400 rockets or mortar bombs across the border after carrying out a surprise guided-missile attack on Monday on a bus that wounded an Israeli soldier, the Israeli military said.

Israeli medics say a 19-year-old man was critically wounded when a Palestinian rocket struck the bus in southern Israel.

Israel's skies have been alight all night with Hamas launching hundreds of rockets towards Israeli territory, registering hits in Ashkelon, Sderot and other border communities.

According to numerous online reports, the driver, whose injuries were not life-threatening, told doctors at Soroka Medical Center in Beersheva that it was a "miracle" that the soldiers on his bus were not killed, and that the incident proves that "God loves the Jews". "The United Nations Special Coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, is working closely with Egypt and all concerned parties to restore calm", Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for Guterres, said in a statement.

Hamas said in a statement that the demolishing of Al-Aqsa TV was an attack on the press and "reflects the Israeli occupation's murderous mentality and exposes all its atrocious crimes, terror acts, and abhorrent violations against the Palestinian people".

Abu Rokon warned, "The State of Israel will continue to respond harshly against any terrorist activity or rocket fire by the terrorist organization Hamas".

An Israeli air strike destroyed Hamas's Al-Aqsa TV building in the Gaza Strip on Monday (Nov 12) after a series of warning shots, AFP journalists reported, drawing threats of a harsh response from Palestinian militants. Hamas's armed wing threatened to step up its rocket attacks if Israel continued its strikes.

A relative of Palestinian Khaled Qwaider, who was killed in an Israeli air strike, reacts during his funeral November 12 in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army said that about 60 rockets were intercepted by the Israel Defense Force's (IDF) Iron Dome aerial defense system, with many other rockets falling on open ground. Palestinian officials say at least three people, including two militants, have been killed. The strikes killed several people, allowing the Israeli officers to evacuate.

The empty vehicle apparently used by the Israeli force was reduced to a charred chassis after aircraft fired several missiles at it, leaving a gaping crater in the ground.

Around sundown Monday, militants launched some 100 rockets in less than an hour, the most intense barrage since the 50-day war four years ago.

Netanyahu cut short a trip to Paris and rushed home as tensions rose, and on Monday convened a meeting of security chiefs.

"What is being done by the Palestinian resistance proves that it is prepared and ready to defend the Palestinians", Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Sunday.

Last week, Israel allowed Qatar to deliver $15 million in aid to Gaza's cash-strapped Hamas rulers. The video, with ominous music playing, showed Israeli soldiers milling about the area.

Israel signalled that Sunday's mission did not go as planned and resulted in the clash, which Palestinian officials said included Israeli air strikes.

Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008 and recent unrest has raised fears of a fourth.

It said the station is "owned and operated by Hamas".

  • Kyle Peterson