Hamas Fires Rockets Amid Israeli Air Strikes On Gaza
Palestinian have fired less rockets at Israeli cities and Israel carried out many dozens of air raids on Gaza overnight. Hamas launched several missiles toward Jerusalem but did not hit it. Israel shot down two rockets over Tel Aviv.
The Israeli military said there were 160 air raids overnight in response to the rocket attacks.
The health ministry in Gaza says 25 Palestinians civilian have been killed and 70 hurt in the recent Israeli attacks.
The ministry said that four women and three children were among the dead.
The military wing of Hamas has warned that all Israelis are now targets on Israeli attacks.
Israeli General Moti Almoz said that a total of 430 targets in Gaza had now been attacked as part of “Operation Protective Edge”.
He said that 120 concealed rocket launchers, 10 Hamas command and control centres and a number of tunnels had been hit.
Sirens also sounded in Tel Aviv, he says, where Iron Dome interceptor missiles shot down two rockets.
The town of Hadera 100km (60 miles) north of Gaza, was also attacked, with an M-302 surface-to-surface rocket, the furthest target so far reached.
“No other country lives under such a threat, and no country would accept such a threat,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement late on Tuesday.
“We have therefore significantly expanded our operations against Hamas and the other terrorist organisations in Gaza.”
Israel has warned it may send ground troops into Gaza to stop the rocket attacks. It has authorised the call-up of up to 40,000 military reservists. Hundreds of reservists have already been drafted to bolster forces around Gaza.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas demanded that Israel immediately stop the raids on Gaza and appealed for calm.
‘War crime by Israel’
Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner said Israel would continue its bombardment as long as Israeli citizens were under fire.
The home of a Hamas leader in the southern city of Khan Younis was hit, killing six people. Health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said two teenage boys were among those killed.
A Hamas spokesman condemned the air strike, calling it a “horrendous war crime”.
Separately, the Israeli military released video footage that apparently showed accused Hamas members emerging from the sea in diving gear on an Israeli beach before being killed by Israeli troops.
In cities and towns within 40km of Gaza, summer camps and schools have been instructed to close and residents have been encouraged to stay near their homes.
The sudden escalation comes just days after suggestions of a truce from both Israel and groups in Gaza.
Tensions spiked last week with the murders a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem.
A day after their funerals, the Palestinian was abducted in East Jerusalem and murdered. Police have arrested six Jewish suspects and say it seems the 16-year-old was killed because of his nationality.