Terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip unleashed a massive rocket and mortar assault on Israel on Tuesday—the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed had counted more than 70 projectiles by late that evening with sirens indicating additional ones coming—and Israel responded by striking dozens of Hamas targets. Three Israeli soldiers were wounded in the fierce fighting, which called into question the possibility of a new Gaza war.
Meanwhile, multiple world powers expressed their dismay at the Hamas assault and the United States called for the attacks to be discussed by the powerful United Nations Security Council. The stunning escalation follows weeks of Hamas-led riots near the Gaza border and efforts to breach the Israeli security fence there.
Tweeted the IDF Spokesperson, “The Hamas terror organization again chooses to act against the interest of the residents of the Gaza Strip. After it failed during the violent riots along the security fence, it now chooses to conduct and allow a wide-scale attack against Israeli civilians.”
A graphic on the IDF Twitter feed showed Gaza rockets and mortars being launched throughout the day, starting in the morning, during which a kindergarten was hit. The IDF soldiers were lightly-to-moderately wounded in the afternoon attacks, while another barrage was launched in the evening—with repeated tweets announcing sirens well into the night.
In response, Israel struck more than 30 Hamas targets. The IDF Spokesperson tweeted that among other targets, the IDF hit “sheds of drones used for terror purposes, a rocket manufacturing workshop, advanced naval weaponry, military compounds, training facilities, and a munitions manufacturing site.”
Earlier in the day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had warned there would be a price to pay for the brazen assault. “Israel views with utmost gravity the attacks against it and its communities by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the Gaza Strip,” he said in comments released by his office. “The IDF will respond with great force to these attacks. Israel will exact a heavy price from anyone who tries to attack it, and we view Hamas as responsible for preventing such attacks against us.”
Gaza terrorists were also accidentally harming their own people. Israeli Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Ofir Gendelman tweeted that one of the Palestinian rockets took out three power lines providing power to Gaza. Gendelman tweeted that tonight “Gazans don’t have any power, thanks to Hamas’ terrorism.”
The world took notice of the Palestinian escalation. US Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt tweeted on Tuesday morning, “Reprehensible—mortars fired from Gaza at a kindergarten and community in Israel! Hamas has failed—all it can offer is terror. Palestinians in Gaza need real leaders to work on Gaza’s real problems with its water, its economy and so much more.”
In response, the Americans also raised the aggression with the UN Security Council and expected it to be discussed on Wednesday. A press release from the US Mission to the UN also quoted US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley as calling the Gaza attacks “the largest we have seen since 2014… The Security Council should be outraged and respond to this latest bout of violence directed at innocent Israeli civilians, and the Palestinian leadership needs to be held accountable for what they’re allowing to happen in Gaza.”
In addition to the Americans, the Europeans condemned the Gaza assault as well. A statement released on the EU website from the spokesperson of EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said the Palestinian rocket and mortar launches “must stop immediately.”
“Indiscriminate attacks against civilians are completely unacceptable under any circumstances. A de-escalation of this dangerous situation is urgently needed to ensure that civilians’ lives are protected,” said the EU spokesperson’s statement. “Israelis and Palestinians both have the right to live in peace, security and dignity: the cycle of violence and despair has to be broken with a genuine political process.”
(By Joshua Spurlock, www.themideastupdate.com, May 29, 2018)