The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

AP story section

November 17, 2012

Israel expands air assault on rockets in Gaza

(Continued)

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip —

The eerie wail of air raid sirens sounded in Jerusalem after the start of the Jewish Sabbath in the holy city, claimed by both Israel and the Palestinians as a capital and located about 75 kilometers (47 miles) from Gaza. Jerusalem residents were shocked to find themselves suddenly threatened by rocket fire, which, for more than a decade, had been limited to steadily broadening sections of southern Israel.

The attack on the contested city was especially audacious, both for its symbolism and its distance from Gaza. Located roughly 50 miles (80 kilometers) from the Gaza border, Jerusalem had been considered beyond the range of Gaza rockets — and an unlikely target because it is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam's third-holiest shrine.

Most of the militants' rockets do not have guided systems, limiting their accuracy, though Israeli officials believe the militants may have a small number of guided missiles that have not yet been used.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the rocket landed in an open area southeast of the city — near the Palestinian city of Bethlehem and just a few miles from Al-Aqsa.

Earlier on Friday, Gaza gunmen fired toward Tel Aviv for the second straight day, causing no injuries.

"We are sending a short and simple message: There is no security for any Zionist on any single inch of Palestine and we plan more surprises," said Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas' armed wing.

Israeli leaders have threatened to widen the operation if the rocket fire doesn't halt. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said options included the possible assassination of Hamas' prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, and other top leaders.

"Every time that Hamas fires there will be a more and more severe response," he told Channel 2 TV on Friday. "I really recommend all the Hamas leadership in Gaza not to try us again. ... Nobody is immune there, not Haniyeh and not anybody else."

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