The Israeli military hit targets in Gaza after militants there fired dozens of rockets and mortars into southern Israel. This latest violence was set off by a covert, deadly Israeli raid in Gaza a day earlier.
CGTN’s Stephanie Freid reports.
Hundreds of rockets fired at Israeli cities, direct hits on homes and in urban centers, a bus decimated by an anti-tank missile. Israel’s response: airstrikes on Hamas targets, including the Gaza Strip’s Hamas-run television station.
Both sides are warning of dire consequences if the other doesn’t back down.
“We hold Hamas accountable for any aggression against Israeli civilians,” Israeli military spokesperson Jonathan Conricus said. “Hamas, by its actions, is bringing destruction to the Gaza Strip and its environment.”
“This Zionist occupation proved tonight that it is most criminal,” countered Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh. “But it was met by men who are heroes who were capable to stop it. This is an open battle between us and the Zionist enemy. Only he is responsible for this crime and its ramifications.”
The violent surge comes after an Israeli Special Forces raid into the Gaza Strip overnight on Sunday went awry. Seven Hamas militants and one Israeli officer were killed during the operation.
As rockets rained down on southern Israel on Monday night, Israel’s military mobilized tanks.
Casualties on Israel’s side, or longer range rocket fire into major cities, could prompt expanded Israeli military moves.
Prime Minister Netanyahu is scheduled to convene his security cabinet late Tuesday to decide the Israeli government’s next move.
Joel Rubin on Israel-Gaza exchanges of cross-border fire
For more on the violent flare-up between Israel and Gaza, CGTN’s Mike Walter spoke with Joel Rubin. He’s President of the Washington Strategy Group, a national security consulting and lobbying firm. Rubin is also a former U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State.