After days of escalating clashes between Palestinian groups and the IDF, the IDF said on Tuesday it had carried out its biggest counteroffensive since its military assault on the Gaza Strip in 2014.
“In response to hundreds of rockets in the past 24 hours, the IDF has struck a number of terrorist targets and key terrorist operatives across the Gaza Strip, marking our biggest strike since 2014,” the IDF tweeted. Israeli army from its official account Tuesday night. “We are currently hitting more terrorist targets in Gaza.”
The Gaza Strip is where Hamas, an militant Islamist organization designated as a terrorist group by the American and Israeli governments, operates.
BROKEN PROGRAMS IN PARTS OF ISRAEL WHEN TENSIONS FLASH
The group has been launching rocket after rocket since Monday, following a rapid escalation following a standoff on Friday between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, which is a holy site for Jews and Muslims.
“Terrorists in Gaza fire non-stop rockets as civilians in central and southern Israel spend the night in shelters to protect themselves from rocket fire,” the IDF said.
The rockets targeted densely populated civilian areas, including the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and after a brief lull around midnight, officials announced further attacks early in the morning.
Air raid sirens and rocket trails appeared to be part of the landscape this week
At least three Israeli women were killed by rockets Tuesday evening, and dozens of people were injured. The Palestinian toll was even higher, with 35 dead and hundreds injured.
“There are a lot of targets lined up,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned earlier today. “This is just the beginning.”
At least three senior Hamas leaders are believed to have died on Tuesday evening after an Israeli strike razed their hiding place.
Another airstrike razed a 12-story Hamas office building, although Israeli forces warned people to flee first and no casualties were reported.
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Meanwhile, as the militant group and the IDF clashed, civilians revolted in several parts of the country, with reports of Molotov cocktails, desecration of places of worship and at least one fatal shooting.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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