Two Israeli women have died in the coastal city of Ashkelon in rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, emergency services report.
They are the first fatalities on the Israeli side since both sides bombarded each other. This morning it became clear that 25 Palestinians had been killed in Israeli airstrikes, including nine children.
It is quite exceptional that people in Israel die from the often makeshift projectiles of the Palestinians. A missile shield stops many missiles. Ashkelon is said to have been bombarded with 70 missiles in less than half an hour. The city of Ashdod, 40 kilometres south of Tel Aviv, is also a target. According to the police, eight buildings were hit in both places, including an empty school. Hamas’s military wing, which controls the Gaza Strip, has claimed responsibility.
The Israeli army has attacked targets in the Gaza Strip at least 140 times in retaliation and is preparing to raid the strip again with ground troops. Airstrikes in the Gaza Strip have killed at least 25 people, including nine children, and injured more than 125 people.
Hamas has threatened to make Ashkelon “hell” if Israel continues to attack. The terrorist movement began with rocket attacks in response to riots in Jerusalem, where dozens of Palestinians are threatened to be evicted from their homes to make way for Jewish settlers.
Last night, violence in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip took off again. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned yesterday that the fighting could continue “for some time”. The senior Israeli military says the missile strikes have been carefully prepared and the military is prepared for different scenarios. “We will hit Hamas hard,” an army spokesman said this morning.
Israel prepares to re-invade the strip with ground forces. Defense Minister Benny Gantz has approved the drafting of 5,000 reservists while the army is strengthening and preparing troops near Gaza.