The most serious outbreak of violence between Israel’s army and Palestinians from the Hamas dominated Gaza Strip in over 4 years escalated Tuesday as militants fired dozens of missiles in southern Israel, killing a guy in a strike on residential construction.
The cross border strikes began Sunday following a botched Israeli undercover raid – seemingly in the reconnaissance mission – to Gaza set off a conflict which left seven militants, including a Hamas commander and an Israeli high army officer, dead.
Back in Israel, at least 20 individuals have also been injured, several seriously, from the 400 rockets and mortars launched from Gaza since Monday.
Palestinian officials say an additional four individuals, including two Hamas militants, were killed as Israel retaliated with a wave of airstrikes throughout the coastal enclave. The strikes destroyed the Television station of Hamas, the Islamist militant group that principles Gaza. The Israeli man who died in the strike on the residential construction on Tuesday was reported to be in his 40s and from Hebron, the West Bank’s largest Palestinian city.
Over the past couple of months, the sides have come close to a significant escalation several times, just to step back in favour of giving a possibility to a long term Egyptian mediated truce.
However, the armed wing of Hamas threatened to step up its strikes and fire rockets further north toward the Israeli cities of Ashdod and Beersheba if Israel continued its airstrikes. Schools were closed in large portions of southern Israel and a nearby election has been postponed due to the threat of further rocket fire. The UN has appealed for calm.
The Israel Hamas war in the year 2014 lasted for 50 days and murdered over 2, 100 Palestinians, mostly civilians, in accordance with the U.N. Seventy two Israelis were murdered.
President Donald Trump’s administration has pledged to release a peace plan between Israelis and Palestinians, but his promise faced obstacles, including Trump’s decision to move U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a town whose eastern half of the Palestinians claim to be the capital of any future state. Revelations that saudi arabia was engaged in the murder of the Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi have also cast doubt on the suitability of that nation’s role as potential peace mediator.