World Bulletin / News Desk
The Ezzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, said early Wednesday that its fighters have managed to hit an Israeli F-16 warplane over the Gaza Strip.
“Our air defense unit managed at 19:40 local time [16:40 GMT] to target and hit an [Israeli] F-16 with a surface-to-air missile over Deir al-Balah city in central Gaza, as the plane was preparing to strike a target,” the brigades said in a brief statement.
The statement gave no further details, and the Israeli army is yet to comment.
The brigades in earlier statements had announced that it shot down three Israeli drones in separate incidents over Gaza since the Israeli army commenced a wide-scale military operation against the Palestinian enclave earlier this month.
Since July 7, Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip with fierce aerial bombardments with the ostensible aim of halting rocket fire.
At least 635 Palestinians have been killed – mostly civilians – and more than 4000 others injured in Israel's ongoing offensive, now in its third week.
Gaza-based resistance factions, meanwhile, have continued to fire rocket at Israeli cities in response to relentless Israeli bombardments.
According to official Israeli figures, 28 Israeli soldiers and two civilians have been killed since the hostilities began.
Israel's military operation, dubbed "Operation Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip – which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within the last six years.
In 2008/9, over 1500 Palestinians were killed in Israel's three-week-long "Operation Cast Lead."Last Mod: 13 Kasım 2014, 23:17