Middle East conflict: After attacks on Gaza: Israel under massive fire

Middle East conflict: After attacks on Gaza: Israel under massive fire

Israel’s air force repeatedly attacks targets in the Gaza Strip over the course of two days – several people are killed. Militant Palestinians respond with massive rocket fire.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 200 rockets at Israel after the targeted killing of several members of Islamic Jihad. In total there were around 270 kills, the military said in the early evening. Accordingly, 205 crossed the border into Israel, 63 were intercepted. There were three impacts in urban areas. Sirens also wailed in central Israel in the afternoon.

The shelling continued into the evening. The sirens also wailed in the greater Tel Aviv area. It was the first missile alert of this kind in central Israel since August last year. According to media reports, Egypt, Qatar and the UN were already trying to achieve a ceasefire between Israel and the parties in the Gaza Strip in the evening.

According to military reports, Israel’s air force had previously attacked more than 100 targets of the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. According to the Health Ministry in Gaza, six Palestinians were killed in the recent attacks, including a 14-year-old. Around 20 people were injured. This brings the death toll to 21 since the start of the Israeli military operation “Shield and Arrow” on Tuesday. At least ten of the dead were civilians, according to Palestinian sources.

Clouds of smoke in the sky

According to Israeli paramedics, two women in Israel were slightly injured on their way to shelters. Israeli media reported eight injuries in a row from falls. An unoccupied house in the town of Sderot was also reported to have been hit by a rocket. Explosions were heard in several Israeli cities. These were probably triggered by the Israeli missile defense system Iron Dome. Clouds of smoke could be seen in the sky in pictures on social networks.

According to media reports, traffic at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv was briefly interrupted. Planes attempting to land were instructed to circle out of range of the missiles for a few minutes, news site ynet reported.

The escalation was preceded by the targeted killing of three high-ranking members of the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad. A total of 13 people were killed in the Israeli air strikes on Tuesday night, including several women and children. In addition, two members of a militant Palestinian group were killed in an Israeli attack on a car in the southern Gaza Strip. According to the army, they are said to have transported guided anti-tank missiles.

A coalition of militant Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip said in a joint statement that the rocket fire was in response to recent Israeli attacks. The country was threatened with “dark days” if the “aggression” continued, it said. The Israeli army justified military strikes with rocket fire from the Gaza Strip in recent weeks and planned attacks in the near future. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he was prepared for “further hard blows against Gaza”.

Hamas role unclear

According to experts, whether the Palestinian organization Hamas, which rules in the Gaza Strip, is involved in launching the rockets plays a decisive role in the course of the conflict. This was initially unclear.

Israel has repeatedly killed jihadi leaders in the Gaza Strip in the past. In August last year, military chief Chalid Mansur and two other members were killed in an Israeli air raid. At that time there were massive rocket attacks from the Palestinian territory and further Israeli airstrikes. After three days, an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire came into effect.

Much suffering in the Gaza Strip

More than two million people live in the Gaza Strip in very poor conditions. Hamas violently seized power in the Palestinian Territory in 2007. Israel then tightened a blockade of the coastal area, which is supported by Egypt.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad are classified as terrorist organizations by the US, EU and Israel. Both groups have taken up the cause of the destruction of Israel. However, Islamic Jihad is considered even more radical than Hamas. According to the CIA World Factbook, the number of jihadi fighters is estimated at between 1,000 and several thousand. Hamas is considered to be much stronger militarily, with the number of fighters estimated at 25,000. Unlike Hamas, Islamic Jihad has no interest in participating in the government, instead focusing on armed resistance to Israel.

Source: Stern

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts