Fresh outbreak of violence on Gaza Strip
‘Botched’ Israeli raid threatens unofficial ceasefire between Israel and Hamas
A “botched” undercover Israeli special forces operation in Gaza that left eight people dead has sparked a string of rocket and mortar attacks between Israel and Palestinian militants.
Israeli special forces killed seven Hamas militants and lost a lieutenant colonel during the raid late on Sunday night, the “first known ground incursion there by Israeli forces since the last war in 2014”, The Guardian reports.
In response, Palestinian militants reportedly launched more than 300 rockets and mortars into Israel, with at least one anti-tank missile hitting an Israeli bus, causing several injuries.
Islamic Jihad spokesman, Daoud Shehab, told local media that the retaliatory rocket attacks were to show “the occupation and its supporters know that the lives of our sons come with a price”.
Israeli Major General Kamil Abu Rukun said that Hamas “has crossed a red line” and Israel would “continue to respond with an iron fist against all terrorist activity or rocket fire”.
Israel launched at least 70 rockets into Palestinian controlled territory during the tit-for-tat violence overnight.
The fresh outbreak of violence has threatened an unofficial ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants, which both sides have said is required to prevent another war over the disputed territories.