Rain of Israeli missiles pound Gaza in response to the launch of two rockets on Tel Aviv
Hamas military posts in the Strip hit. The Islamic movement denies any involvement in the attack. Analysts and experts speak of disturbing action to prevent ceasefire agreements between the two fronts. Weekly demonstrations scheduled for today on the border between Israel and Gaza cancelled.
Gaza (AsiaNews) - A rain of Israeli missiles poured down on Gaza in the early morning today, in response to the launch yesterday of two rockets from the Strip and directed towards the coastal city of Tel Aviv for the first time since the war of 2014.
The targets were structures of the Islamic Hamas movement. "Combat aircraft, attack helicopters and the Israeli air force have launched a joint attack against a hundred positions of the terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip" read a military command statement said -.
Israeli defense sources report that the Iron Dome defense system intercepted some of the missiles launched towards the country. The first two rockets to Tel Aviv, which caused no casualties or material damage, were followed by another six missiles all intercepted except one by the defensive system. The Israeli military has released images of targets hit by over a hundred missiles launched towards the Strip. Targest include what is considered the headquarters of Hamas for operations in the West Bank, a weapons depot and a shipyard.
The military's response injured two people in Gaza, a man and a woman from Rafah hit by some debris from their home.
In these hours the Islamic movement that controls the Strip has strongly denied the involvement in yesterday's rocket launch towards Israel. Some Israeli media, citing defense sources, say that the rockets were fired "by mistake" during maintenance work.
The attack took place while a meeting was taking place between Hamas leaders and Egyptian delegates, who have been mediating for some time in an attempt to reach an agreement for a ceasefire with Israel. Analysts and experts in Middle Eastern politics say that the rockets would be an attempt to raise the tension and prevent any kind of agreement between Hamas and Israel.
During the night the alarm sirens continued to resound through the streets of Tel Aviv, fueling tension and concern among the civilian population. A possible escalation of violence represents a further element of crisis for a country that is heading for political elections on April 9, in a context of uncertainty and confusion with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in search of the fifth mandate but risking a corruption trial.
Following the ongoing military escalation, organizers of weekly protests on the border between Gaza and Israel decided to suspend any form of demonstration for today. A choice, they specify, dictated "by the public interest".
From March 30, 2018 to coincide with the beginning of the "March of return", the border that separates the Strip from Israel was the scene of repeated demonstrations by the Palestinians. The population protests against the Israeli blockade of goods into Gaza [now described as an open-air prison] and for the recognition of Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their homes.
In the context of the protests, in recent months there have been numerous episodes of violence termed "shameful" by Israeli activists, during which at least 251 Palestinians (and two Israeli soldiers) were killed.
The army has always claimed to have opened fire to protect the border from raids and attacks by armed militiamen. The UN does not exclude that the Israeli military is committing "war crimes".