Heavy rocket attacks launched from Gaza into major Israeli cities; 59 killed in 3 days of fierce struggle 

Heavy rocket attacks launched from Gaza into major Israeli cities; 59 killed in 3 days of fierce struggle 

Gaza/Jerusalem: Hamas has launched a barrage of rockets at Ashkelon, Ashdod and Lod, along with Tel Aviv, which is considered Israel’s financial capital. By firing more than 1,050 rockets at Israel in 38 hours, Hamas has declared that it is ready for war. On the other hand, Israel has carried out airstrikes on more than 500 Hamas and Islamic Jihad sites in the Gaza Strip. In the past three days of the fierce conflict, 59 people are said to have been killed. Ismail Haniya, the head of Hamas, has announced that it is impossible to withdraw from the war. Also, Defense Minister Benny Gantz has warned that Israel’s will not stop its military operation in Gaza. 

Until now, the rockets and missiles Hamas and Islamic Jihad fired were crashing into Israel’s uninhabited border. However, the missiles fired by both terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip since Sunday have landed on Israeli cities far from the border. These include Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheba, Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Lod. The pounding rocket attacks forced Israel to evacuate Tel Aviv International Airport and shut down flights. Schools and colleges in Israel have also been closed until further notice. 

Reports have surfaced of sirens sounding in the Israeli city of Dimona due to the heavy rocket attacks. However, media reports say rockets did not crash into the city of Dimona. Israel has a nuclear facility at Dimona. Only last month, a missile launched by the Syrian army had crashed in the town. In such a situation, Hamas’s rocket attack is once again causing concern as sirens have sounded in Dimona. In the last 38 hours, more than 1,050 rockets have been fired from Gaza. Also, the Israeli military said the Iron Dome system has successfully penetrated 80 to 90 per cent of the missiles. 

Nevertheless, six people, including an Israeli soldier, have been killed in rocket attacks in Israel. Furthermore, Hamas militants have fired anti-tank missiles at a military vehicle patrolling the Gaza border, which has claimed the life of an Israeli soldier. Therefore, it has revealed that Hamas is in possession of anti-tank missiles. In addition, terrorists targeted a fuel pipeline in the Israeli city of Ashdod. 

In response to the bombardment of rockets, Israeli fighter jets targeted more than 500 Hamas and Islamic Jihad sites in Gaza. The Hamas Health Ministry has claimed 53 people were killed in the Israeli airstrikes, although the Israeli military says more than 25 of them were Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists. The Israeli Defense Ministry has affirmed that at least six Hamas commanders and three senior Islamic Jihad commanders were killed.  

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have set up their buildings and offices in urban areas. Israel has said it is, therefore, that the Palestinian people are also being killed in operation against the terrorists. Israel used the Air Force as well as the Navy for operations in Gaza. At the same time, Israel is also preparing to deploy troops in the Gaza Strip. 

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya has backed the attacks on Israel. “We launched the rocket attacks for the security of Jerusalem, and we have succeeded in it. The root of the conflict is Jerusalem, and Hamas will not withdraw from the struggle for Jerusalem,” Haniya said. 

On the other hand, Israeli Defense Minister Gantz also asserted that a ceasefire with Hamas was not possible. “The military campaign launched by Israel will not stop as yet. Israel will not listen to the moral advice of any organization or international group regarding its sovereignty and security of its people,” Gantz stated. Moreover, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned that “Hamas will receive such blows as they never thought possible. Israel will kill their senior commanders”. 

Meanwhile, Palestinian militants targeted Jewish sites in the Israeli city of Lod on Tuesday. They have reportedly damaged an Israeli place of worship. The group also set some shops on fire. As a result, riots erupted between Palestinian and Israeli groups in the city of Lod. The mayor of Lod has resigned following the violence and called on the Israeli government to take control of the town. Henceforth, law and order in the city of Lod will be strictly enforced using an iron fist, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced. Besides, Israeli President Rivlin has blamed pro-Iranian groups for the violence and attacks. 

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