Israel responded with airstrikes against suspected militant positions in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday following a second day of indiscriminate rocket attacks targeting cities and civilians in the Jewish state amid new clashes in Jerusalem.
According to videos posted online, explosions rocked the region as rocket attack sirens blared, sending Israeli civilians scrambling for underground shelters overnight, The Epoch Times reported.
More than 100 people have been wounded in airstrikes and at least two Palestinians were killed, according to reports, while six Israelis were injured in rocket attacks.
Twenty people in Gaza including nine children were killed on Monday, as Israeli missile defenses via Iron Dome intercepted many of the scores of rockets launched by Palestinian militants and suspected Hamas fighters.
The attacks aimed at the Jerusalem region were the first since 2014 when Israel fought a brief but bloody war with Hamas. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue responding to those attacks, which he said crossed a “red line.”
The fighting intensified after confrontations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque near the Temple Mount located at the heart of the walled Old City, an area sacred to Jews and Muslims alike.
Reports said that rock-throwing Palestinians located inside the mosque targeting Israeli police led officers to storm the house of worship. More than 300 Palestinians were reportedly injured in their battles with Israeli police who reportedly used rubber bullets, stun guns, and tear gas inside the compound. In addition, Israeli police said 21 officers were injured as well.
Tensions also rose in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem as several Palestinian families faced eviction from homes that had been claimed by Jewish settlers in a legal case that has lasted years.
Hamas issued an ultimatum to Israel, demanding the removal of military and police forces from Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah. When the deadline passed and Israel had not complied, “sirens wailed in Jerusalem and rockets pounded the city’s outskirts,” The Epoch Times reported.
The Israelis claim all of Jerusalem as the country’s capital, including East Jerusalem which was captured in the 1967 Six-Day War, also known as the Third Arab-Israeli War, with Jordan, Syria, and Egypt. The Palestinians, however, have staked claim to East Jerusalem, which they want for their capital in an eventual Palestinian state.
Former President Donald Trump solidified Israel’s claims when he fulfilled a campaign pledge to relocate the U.S. Embassy there from Tel Aviv. Several previous U.S. presidents had made a similar pledge but never followed through.
Posts of missile attacks, conflicts between Palestinians and Israeli police, as well as of residents on both sides taking cover were posted to social media.
Breaking: Massive & heavy missile barrages just hit Central Israel, sending millions of innocent civilians including women and children to bomb shelters.
Hamas is trying to murder innocent Israelis but no one seems to care… Please RT if you do…pic.twitter.com/j4wTK9qWHJ
— Liza Rosen (@LizaRosen0000) May 11, 2021
— محمد حفظين حيشام… (@hafiezeenhisham) May 11, 2021
Sderot: This man is protecting his younger sister as a red alert warns of an incoming rocket attack from #Gaza.
Hamas terrorists are targeting Israeli civilians indiscriminately, this must stop. pic.twitter.com/aGKuJxgLPK
— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) May 11, 2021
This is what you teach your children pic.twitter.com/Qz1UPiMeo4
— Sicarii70 (@Sicarii70) May 11, 2021
JUST IN – Hamas claims to have fired 137 rockets at Ashkelon within 5 minutes. This scene is reportedly from one of the impacts.pic.twitter.com/x3JqeJQcRT
— Disclose.tv 🚨 (@disclosetv) May 11, 2021
“This needs to be said: every single Palestinian and Israeli death as a result of this escalation is the responsibility of Hamas and Hamas alone. If there were no Hamas rockets, there would be no Israeli airstrikes. Dozens of lives would be spared. Yes, it really is that simple,” American Jewish Committee global communications director Avi Mayer wrote Tuesday.
This needs to be said: every single Palestinian and Israeli death as a result of this escalation is the responsibility of Hamas and Hamas alone.
If there were no Hamas rockets, there would be no Israeli airstrikes. Dozens of lives would be spared.
Yes, it really is that simple.
— Avi Mayer (@AviMayer) May 11, 2021
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