• D. Brit

Violence Escalates in Gaza Strip As Israel Responds To Hamas Rockets With Airstrikes


What Happened:

  • Violence continues to escalate in the Gaza Strip as Hamas militants fired more than 250 rockets towards Israel overnight, resulting in 2 Israeli civilian deaths and 10 wounded. Israel responded with multiple airstrikes early Tuesday. One of the targets was the home of a Hamas field commander, which resulted in 28 deaths, 10 of which were children. Israel says at least 16 of the killed were militants.

  • The tension has been mounting for several weeks and came to a head Monday when violence erupted at the Temple Mount (known as the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims), one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites.

  • The confrontation began early Monday morning when Palestinian protesters barricaded the walls of the compound and began throwing rocks at Israeli Police deployed outside. Police responded by entering the compound and firing tear gas and stun grenades. In the ensuing chaos throughout the day, more than 700 Palestinians were injured and over 500 were hospitalized, several in critical condition.

  • Monday’s confrontation was just the latest in a city that has experienced multiple confrontations between Palestinians and Israeli police over the past few weeks. Hundreds of residents of Arab communities staged protests Monday night denouncing the violence of the Israeli forces against Palestinians.

  • Israel has come under growing international criticism for taking what some consider to be a heavy-handed approach with Palestinians during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said on Monday that the fighting could "continue for some time." Ofir Gendelman, spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, defended Israel's actions saying Israel guarantees freedom of worship, “not the freedom to riot and attack innocent people.”

  • The US, EU and UN have all made expressions of concern over the growing tensions and nearly nightly violence in the area.

Developing Story

Photo Source: youtube.com


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