ISRAEL: Israel and Palestinian terrorist factions in Gaza have been fighting despite claims of truce talks, resulting in 21 deaths and paralysing daily life in Tel Aviv. Egyptian authorities reported a halt to the fighting, but tit-for-tat shooting persisted, indicating that the ceasefire had not been maintained.
Militants in Gaza launched 400 rockets into Israel in retaliation for Israeli airstrikes that killed 21 people, including three senior commanders and ten civilians. Ali Ghali and two other militants were killed in a late-night bombing of a building in Khan Younis.
On Wednesday afternoon, several salvoes sounded air raid sirens in southern Israel, including Tel Aviv. At least 62 rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system, and one injury was reported. David’s Sling, a new mid-range air defence missile system, was successfully deployed for the first time.
Jake Sullivan, the White House’s national security adviser, called Tzachi Hanegbi on Wednesday and highlighted the importance of de-escalation. He noted regional efforts to broker a ceasefire and stressed the need to de-escalate tensions and prevent further loss of life. Since Israeli bombings on Islamic Jihad members in the early hours of Tuesday, residents of the south of the country and Palestinians trapped in the Gaza Strip had been bracing for an escalation.
The defence ministry ordered the evacuation of 6,500 Israelis from their homes in Gaza and shut down roads, schools, and other facilities in preparation for possible retaliation from Gaza’s terrorist organisations. Tensions between the two groups have increased since Khader Adnan, a political figure associated with Islamic Jihad, died while on a hunger strike.
Hamas and its rival, Fatah, remained neutral during recent conflicts but were pressured to react due to Tuesday’s targeted operation and high death toll. Israeli officials hope Hamas won’t take the chance of restarting a full-scale confrontation despite the factions claiming responsibility for the fire, calling it a “broad response”.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said they had not noticed any active engagement from Hamas. At the same time, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported that 64 people were hurt during Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and Wednesday. The IDF said they were directed at rocket launcher locations and resulted in the deaths of 21 Palestinians, including five children.
Dr Jamal Hasan, his wife Mirfat, and their son Yusef were killed when a missile struck their building, making at least ten civilians. There had been an increase in tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with more than 100 Palestinians, 19 Israelis, and foreigners killed in 2023 alone. The West Bank has been calm since the second intifada of the 2000s.
Also Read: Israel Strikes Gaza, Killing Three Islamic Jihad Chiefs and 10 Civilians