Israel began a major counter-offensive on Gaza early on Tuesday following the launch of over 85 rockets at southern Israel on Monday. At least 14 people have been injured as the Israeli Air Force carried out airstrikes against Hamas targets.
IDF has launched Operation Protective Edge in Gaza following rocket fire, the Israeli Defense Force said on Twitter.
Up to 14 Palestinians have been injured in the airstrikes, Times of Israel reported. Out of all the injured, two were children, a BBC correspondent cited medical sources as saying.
According to Gaza-based journalist Harry Fear at least 16 Israeli raids have targeted Gaza from north to south since the operation began.Fear added that Gaza’s Health Ministry has declared an emergency. Hamas said Israel targeted four houses and four training facilities in the Gaza Strip.
The move comes after more than 85 rockets were fired at southern Israel Monday, with at least 16 of them intercepted by the Iron Dome defense batteries.
The IDF has called up 1,500 reservists amid the escalating crisis.
Meanwhile, Hamas urged its supporters to fight back against Israeli attacks until “they understand that our people do not know defeat nor surrender,” Man’an news agency cited Hamas’ statement as saying. “Blood for blood, and whoever sets fire burns; our blood will not be wasted,” said the statement.
The IDF warned that “Hamas will not be safe as long as it continues to threaten the lives of Israeli civilians.”
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor called on the Security Council to condemn Hamas’ actions, denounce terrorism and urge Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve his national unity government with the Islamist group.
In a letter Prosor stated Israel will “no longer tolerate this situation and those targeting Israelis with terrorism will pay a very heavy price.”
Nine Palestinian militants were killed in airstrikes overnight Sunday. But, Israel claims that at least six of them died when a tunnel they had built collapsed.
In the last few days, Palestinian militants have fired more than 200 rockets and mortars at Israel and Israel has launched dozens of airstrikes in retaliation.
Tensions escalated after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and later found killed.
Israel blamed Hamas for the abductions and conducted sweeping raids in the Palestinian territories.
A Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir was later found dead in the Jerusalem Forest; his body was charred and bore signs of violence. Six Israelis who were arrested on Sunday in connection with the murder have confessed to the crime and re-enacted it. Police have said they believe it was carried out by the extremists in revenge for the murder of three Israeli teens.
The cousin of the dead Palestinian teen was then badly beaten by Israeli police but he was found to be an American citizen, which drew fierce criticism from Washington.
Soot found in the lungs of an East Jerusalem youth, whose funeral drew thousands on Friday, means the teenager was still alive and breathing when he was burned, according to the preliminary results of an autopsy.
The autopsy, carried out by Israeli doctors in Tel Aviv and attended by a Palestinian forensic expert, revealed that over 90 percent of the boy’s skin was burned and he suffered a head injury.
“The direct cause of death was burns as a result of fire and its complications,” Palestinian Attorney-General Mohammed Al-A’wewy was quoted as saying by the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa.
Fire dust material was found in the boy’s respiratory system, which means “the boy had inhaled this material while he was burnt alive.” The final report on the autopsy will be issued following more lab examinations of the body’s tissue samples….read more….
The brutally beaten, 15-year-old US-Palestinian cousin of murdered teen Mohammad Abu Khdeir has been placed under house arrest, despite police demands to keep him in custody. Tarek Abu Khdeir was accused of attacking police officers at a protest.
An Israeli court ruled that Tarek Abu Khdeir should be subject to house arrest in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Hanina on Sunday. Court spokeswoman Luba Samri said that police had asked the judge to extend the remand of the teenager, claiming that he attacked police officers during violent protests over the death of his cousin, 16-year-old Palestinian boy Mohammad Abu Khdeir……read more…..