Israeli strikes have killed 25 Palestinians including 2 leaders of Islamic Jihad group.
According to reports, nine children were among those killed in the blockaded Gaza Strip that is controlled by Hamas and 125 people were wounded, local health authorities said. More than 300 rockets have been fired by Palestinian militants towards Israel since Monday, with over 90 percent intercepted by its Iron Dome missile defense system, Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said. At least six Israelis have been injured.
Israel has responded with 130 strikes carried out by fighter jets and helicopters on military targets in the enclave, killing 15 commanders from Hamas, said Conricus, while the group, Islamic Jihad confirmed two of its senior figures were killed.
More rockets were launched from the coastal enclave on Tuesday, as Hamas’ Qassam Brigades armed wing vowed it would turn the southern Israeli community of Ashkelon into “a hell”.
Conricus said Israel had no confirmation that its strikes had impacted Gaza civilians, or whether the casualties there were caused by Palestinian rockets misfiring.
Hamas on Monday warned Israel to withdraw all its forces from the mosque compound and the east Jerusalem district of Sheikh Jarrah, where looming evictions of Palestinian families have fuelled angry protests.
Sirens wailed across Jerusalem just after the 1500 GMT deadline set by Hamas as people in the city, including lawmakers in the Knesset legislature, fled to bunkers for the first time since the 2014 Gaza conflict.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas had “crossed a red line” by targeting Jerusalem.