Gaza / Tel Aviv (dpa) – Israel and militant Islamists in the Gaza Strip continued their bloody exchange of blows on Wednesday. Several people were injured in Israel in the event of renewed intense rocket fire by Gaza militants in the evening.
In Sderot, a five-year-old boy was fatally injured in a rocket attack, according to the city council.
The missile alarm had also gone off in the greater Tel Aviv area. At night, howling warning sirens could be heard in the outskirts of Tel Aviv. It was the third wave of attack since Tuesday evening. The coastal metropolis – the economic center of Israel – was hit with rockets more than ever before on Wednesday evening.
Previously, Israeli fighter jets had destroyed another tall building in Gaza used by militants. Both Islamic Hamas and militant Islamic Jihad had offices in the 14-story building. However, there were also cafes and shops in the house. Videos showed how it collapsed after the attack. Hamas said it would fire 130 missiles in response to Israeli sites of Ashkelon, Sderot and Netivot.
The Israeli Air Force had also previously destroyed the home of a high-ranking member of Islamist Hamas. The building therefore served as a weapons depot. Israel has also killed several senior Hamas officials in attacks. “This is just the beginning – we will beat them out that they never dreamed of,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday at a hospital in Cholon. Observers suspected that the killing of Hamas officials could aggravate the missile attacks.
The military arm of the Islamist Hamas organization reportedly fired 15 missiles at the Israeli desert city of Dimona on Wednesday. There is an Israeli nuclear reactor there, but it is considered extremely well protected. A spokesman for the Israeli army said he could not confirm that missiles had been fired or landed in the area.
Militant Palestinians have been bombing Israel with rockets since Monday evening. The Israeli army is responding with attacks on targets in the Gaza Strip, mainly by the air force. There were deaths on both sides.
In addition to the child, at least five people in Israel died from rocket fire, according to the military. In addition, an Israeli soldier was hit and killed by an anti-tank missile. The Israeli army blamed Hamas for the attack, injuring other soldiers. The Gaza Health Ministry estimated the death toll at 65.
Concerns about the escalation of the conflict increased internationally. Defense Secretary Benny Gantz prepared the civilians for longer military deployment. According to diplomats, the United Nations has warned the UN Security Council of a major war. The US initially blocked a joint statement by the most powerful UN body on escalating violence in Middle Eastern circles on Wednesday.
To this end, European countries of the UN Security Council called for an end to violence between Israelis and Palestinians. “We urge all actors to reduce tension, end violence and show extreme restraint,” Estonian UN Ambassador Sven Juergenson said on Wednesday in a statement from Estonia, France, Ireland and Norway following the emergency meeting of the most powerful UN body in New York. .
Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas warned that the conflict is spreading to other parts of the region. Earlier described the launch of more than 1,000 missiles from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Wednesday evening in a ZDF “Spezial” as absolutely unacceptable and as the basis for Israel to exercise its right to self-defense. “If there is no de-escalation, it all means that here we are facing a spiral of violence that could plunge the entire region into a deep conflict with much violence reaching far beyond the immediate vicinity. That should be avoided at all costs. “
In recent days there have been violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces, especially in Jerusalem. This included protests against police barriers in the old city and the threat of deportation of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah district. Violence has also recently taken place in Arab cities in the Israeli heartland.
Hamas either builds its own weapons or smuggles them to the coastal area, via Egypt or by sea. The group, classified by Israel and the EU as a terrorist organization, has never provided figures on its missile arsenal. The topic is considered top secret. Israel believes militant groups in the Gaza Strip can fire hundreds of rockets at Israel every day.