Palestinian militants in Gaza launched more than 200 rockets and mortars across southern Israel on Monday in retaliation for the killing of seven fighters by Israeli forces in a botched covert operation the night before. The fighting threatened months of talks aimed at calming the Israel-Gaza border, where protests since March where some 170 unarmed Palestinians were killed. The military said fighter jets, attack helicopters and tanks had struck more than 70 military targets in Gaza in response.
- Does the government in Gaza have the ability to stop attacks on Israel?
- Should covert operations have been paused while talks were happening?
- Has the Israeli defense forces used too much lethal force against protestors?
JERUSALEM ‘” On Monday, Palestinian militants in Gaza launched an intense and sustained rocket and mortar attack on much of southern Israel in retaliation for the killing of seven Israeli troops in a botched covert operation in Gaza the previous night.
In Gaza, Israeli aircraft hit targets back.
The fighting threatened to scuttle months of multilateral talks aimed at calming the Israel-Gaza border, where protests since March have been met with a lethal Israeli response, killing some 170 unarmed Palestinians and wounding thousands more. The talks had already produced concrete steps to ease tensions in Gaza, including increased electrical power and the influx of millions of dollars in aid.
More than 200 rockets and mortars were fired into Israel in just the first two hours on Monday afternoon, 60 of them intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system, the Israeli military said. By nightfall, the military said its fighter jets, attack helicopters and tanks had struck more than 70 military targets in Gaza belonging to the militant groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
According to the Gaza authorities, three Palestinians were killed in Israeli air strikes and three others were injured. More than a dozen Israelis were reported injured in rocket and mortar attacks, including a 19-year-old man who was seriously injured by an anti-tank missile when a bus was hit near Kfar Aza, north-east.