Israeli warplanes strike Palestinian presidential compound

04/04/2006 - 13:17:11

Israeli aircraft today fired three missiles into the presidential compound of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, wounding two people and leaving deep craters in the ground.

The missiles landed at the Ansar 2 compound about yards from Abbas’ office. The Palestinian leader was at his main office in the West Bank at the time of the attack.

The compound, formerly used by Palestinian security forces to store equipment, has been abandoned due to previous Israeli attacks. During five years of fighting, Israel repeatedly attacked the site, most recently in 2004.

The missiles fired today landed on an abandoned helicopter landing pad. Israel destroyed the Palestinian presidential helicopter in December 2001.

The Israeli airstrike came in response to home-made Palestinian rocket attacks on southern Israel, though it was not immediately clear why Abbas’ compound had been targeted. Abbas has been a strong critic of the rocket fire.

The army also attacked open fields in northern Gaza used by militants to fire rockets.

Militants fired four home-made projectiles into Israel earlier today. There were no reports of injuries.