Update on Deeply Concerning Situation in Israel
We hope the following information will create greater awareness of what is going on today and how you can access timely updated information on the situation in Israel.
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‘Rocket Attacks’ On Jerusalem And Tel Aviv
Sky News – 7/8/14
The Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa have been targeted in a series of rocket attacks from Gaza tonight, Hamas militants have said.
The wail of air raid sirens sent Israelis running for cover in Tel Aviv and there were reports of possible explosions in Jerusalem.
Television shots showed what appeared to be a mid-air interception of a rocket bound for Tel Aviv by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system.
Air raid sirens went off in the city, which is Israel’s commercial capital and about 45 miles (70km) north of the Gaza Strip.
Jerusalem is about 50 miles (80km) north of Gaza.
The apparent attacks came after Israel launched air and sea strikes on dozens of targets in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli soldiers also killed four Palestinian gunmen who slipped into southern Israel by sea from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said.
The White House “strongly condemned” the rocket attacks on Israel.
Israel said the current military campaign – dubbed Operation Protective Edge – could form part of an extended offensive on the Hamas-ruled territory.
“They chose the direction of escalation,” said army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner.
“So the mission will go on as long as we feel it is necessary to carry it out.”
His comments were echoed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has instructed the military to prepare options for every scenario.
The army was authorised to activate up to 40,000 reserve troops and to prepare for a possible ground invasion of Gaza.
“One way or another we are going to stop Hamas,” said Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, who announced a special state of emergency in southern Israel.
Among the sites targeted by the Israeli aerial and naval assaults were four homes of alleged Hamas operatives, concealed rocket launchers and training bases.
Palestinian media reported at least 15 people, including a child, had been injured.
An emergency services spokesman said four people had been killed, including a man in an area close to the Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.
There was also a suggestion one of the houses targeted was of a senior Hamas military-wing figure.
Sky’s Middle East Reporter Tom Rayner, on the Israel-Gaza border, said: “Israel says it has also intercepted rockets. This morning we have seen about four or five rockets fired from northern Gaza towards southern Israeli cities.”
Hamas warned Israel had “crossed a red line” and would pay the price, threatening an “earthquake” in response to the attacks.
“If this policy does not stop, we will respond by enlarging the radius of our targets to the point where the enemy will be surprised,” the group’s military wing said in a statement.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas demanded Israel end its assault.
He called on the international community “to immediately intervene to halt this dangerous escalation which would lead the region to more destruction and instability”.
The Israeli military said close to 100 rockets had been fired at southern Israel on Monday alone.
Israel responded with dozens of airstrikes and eight Palestinian militants were killed.
Tensions in the region have been inflamed following the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers.
Those killings were followed by the suspected revenge killing of 16-year-old Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khadair.
Three of the six people arrested over his death have reportedly confessed but charges are yet to be brought .
Harriet and Bill
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