Israel began positioning troops along the border with Gaza on Thursday as violence with Hamas continues to escalate, according to a report.
Hamas launched rocket attacks on Israel on Thursday, injuring at least five when a rocket hit a building near Tel Aviv and an Israeli airstrike destroyed a six-story building in Gaza City, according to Reuters. A man was killed in a missile attack on southern Gaza.
The IDF is “in various stages of preparation for ground operations,” an IDF spokesperson told Reuters. The news agency compared the move to the Israel-Gaza wars in 2014 and 2008.
“The chief of staff is inspecting these preparations and giving advice,” IDF Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said.
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At least 72 people have been killed in Gaza and seven in Israel since Monday, including a number of women and children on both sides, according to Reuters.
The United States and other countries have called for an end to the violence.
President Biden said he hoped the violence “would end sooner or later” but said Israel had the right to defend itself against Hamas attacks.
The current eruption of violence began a month ago in Jerusalem, where the harsh tactics of the Israeli police during Ramadan and the threat of eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers sparked protests and clashes with the police.
One focal point was the Al-Aqsa Mosque, built on a hill that is worshiped by Jews and Muslims, where police fired tear gas and stun grenades at protesters who threw chairs and stones at them.
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Hamas, claiming to defend Jerusalem, launched a barrage of rockets on the city on Monday evening, triggering days of fighting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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