Jerusalem/Gaza: In the past 24 hours, 27 people have been killed in clashes between Israel and the Gaza Strip. The dead include two Israeli women. Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza launched more than 400 rockets on Israel since Monday night. On the other hand, Israel targeted 130 Hamas locations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that Hamas will pay a heavy price for their belligerence. Besides, the Israeli military has stepped up the deployment of tanks near the Gaza border, saying the conflict will last for a long time.
Rocket and balloon attacks have been launched from Gaza on the Israeli border for the last three days. However, according to the Israeli media, the attacks have intensified dramatically in the last 24 hours. Hamas and Islamic Jihad said they fired at least 400 rockets at the Israeli border between Monday evening and Tuesday evening. Both the groups have been designated as terrorist entities by Israel.
In one claim, Hamas said it had fired 137 rockets at Israel in five minutes. A slew of rockets was fired at the Israeli city of Ashkelon; photographs and videos of these have surfaced. Local media reported the attacks on the city had claimed the lives of two women and injured 27 Israeli people. The Israeli military fiercely responded to the rocket attacks from Gaza.
Israel has announced that it targeted 130 Hamas locations in Gaza. According to media reports, the Hamas tunnels and weapons depots were destroyed. Also, Hamas protested, saying 25 Palestinians, including nine children, were killed in the Israeli operation. In addition, the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry in Gaza declared that 106 Palestinians were injured. The Israeli military said it had killed 15 terrorists, including three Islamic Jihad commanders, in its operation.
After 24 hours of fighting, Hamas demanded a ceasefire with Israel, according to Israeli news channels. The news agency said Hamas had offered the ceasefire to Israel through Arab mediators. Nevertheless, Israel has rejected Hamas’s demand. Two days ago, Israel had called on Hamas to show restraint and had conveyed the message through Egypt. However, Hamas snubbed Israel’s message and intensified its attacks.
Now, Israel has also announced it would deliver a strong response to Hamas’s rocket attacks. In a warning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, ‘We’re in a struggle spread across several fronts: Jerusalem, Gaza, and other areas in Israel. Israel is being targeted. The terror groups in Gaza crossed a red line on Jerusalem Day evening. Israel will respond with great force. We won’t tolerate harm to our territory, capital, citizens, or soldiers. Whoever attacks us will pay a heavy price.”
Meanwhile, even as rocket attacks are being carried out from the Gaza Strip, clashes continue between Israeli police and Palestinians in Jerusalem. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has criticized the conflict in Jerusalem.
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