Israeli air and ground forces launched a series of attacks Tuesday on targets across the Gaza Strip, killing a young girl and wounding 10 in response to the deadly shooting of an Israeli civilian by a Palestinian sniper.
It was the heaviest burst of violence in the volatile area since November 2012, when Israel and Hamas’ rulers engaged in eight days of heavy fighting. The sudden flare-up threatened a cease-fire that halted that fighting and which largely has held up for the past 13 months.
“I recommend to Hamas not to test our patience and to assert its authority,” Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said. “If there isn’t quiet in Israel, there won’t be quiet in the Gaza Strip.”
The Israeli military said aircraft, tanks and infantry targeted “terror sites” in Gaza, including a weapons-manufacturing facility, “terror infrastructure” and a concealed rocket launcher. “Direct hits were confirmed,” it said.
Palestinian officials reported at least 16 Israeli attacks, causing a series of loud explosions across the territory in rapid succession. Hamas ordered its forces to evacuate offices and compounds and redeploy to safer sites.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri condemned what he called “cowardly” Israeli attacks. “The occupation will not terrify the Palestinian people by these actions and will not punish our resistance and will not halt its readiness to respond to any attacks on Gaza,” he said.
About the Author