Hamas extends missile attacks on Israel | Free press


Gaza / Tel Aviv (dpa) – Militant Palestinians expanded their attacks on Israel on Tuesday, firing hundreds of missiles from the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army responded with dozens of air strikes against targets in the coastal area directly on the Mediterranean. There were deaths on both sides. The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians had come to a head since the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in mid-April. It has now become the most violent confrontation in years. Ramadan comes to an end this week.

According to Israeli police, two people have died in the particularly badly shot coastal city of Ashkelon. According to Zaka’s ambulance service, these are women who have been hit by rockets in their homes. An army spokesman said that at least 15 members of Islamist Hamas and militant Islamic Jihad have been murdered in the Gaza Strip.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, 26 people, including nine children, have died in the aftermath of the violence. According to local media and eyewitness reports, three children were killed in Israeli air strikes and the remaining six by misdirected extremist missiles. The German government condemned the missile attacks on Israel. “It’s an unwarranted escalation in a tense situation,” said a government spokesman.

In recent days there had been multiple clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, especially in Jerusalem – and there in particular on the Temple Mount. Triggers included police barriers in the old city and threats of expulsion of Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah district. There were also clashes in Israeli cities to the north and south. Arab Israelis pelted the police officers with stones. TV reporters compared the incidents to the second Palestinian uprising (Intifada) two decades ago.

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City with the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque is of extraordinary interest to Jews and Muslims alike. The status of Jerusalem is one of the central issues in the Middle East conflict. Israel claims Jerusalem as “the eternal and indivisible capital” for itself. The Palestinians maintain their claim to East Jerusalem as the capital of an independent state.

Militant Palestinians have been bombing Israel with rockets since Monday evening. A spokesman for Hamas, who ruled Gaza, called the attacks a message to enemy Israel and a “response to his crimes and aggression against the holy city.” Hamas has been classified as a terrorist organization by Israel, the US and the EU. She has made the destruction of Israel her goal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saw a red line crossed in the fact that missiles were also fired in the direction of Jerusalem. He put the Israelis in the mood for a longer conflict. Defense Secretary Benny Gantz approved the mobilization of 5,000 reservists.

Since Hamas forcibly seized power in the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel and the radical Palestinian organization have fought three wars. Israel and Egypt are blockading the area and justify this with security considerations. About two million people live there – according to information from aid organizations in appalling conditions. In August 2020, Hamas announced a ceasefire after mediation by Qatar.

According to the Israeli army, 300 missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip within 18 hours. Sirens continued to sound, especially in the immediate vicinity of the coastal area and the town of Ashkelon to the north. Zaka reported a large-scale bombing raid with dozens of missiles in a short period of time – apparently with the aim of overburdening the Israeli defense system Iron Dome (iron dome). A spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, said 137 missiles had been fired at Ashkelon and Ashdod within five minutes.

The mobile system developed by Israel usually intercepts most of the missiles fired. An army spokesman said on Tuesday that the success rate was more than 90 percent recently. He also pointed out that about a third of all missiles fired in the Gaza Strip had fallen. This is an extraordinary amount and probably victims there too. At Iron Dome, a radar device detects approaching projectiles. Then a missile launcher launches an interceptor missile to destroy such projectiles in mid-air.