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Netanyahu Orders Israeli Troops to Continue 'Massive Strikes' on Gaza Targets

Sputnik News

06:48 05.05.2019(updated 14:40 05.05.2019)

Tensions in the Gaza Strip escalated early Saturday when Israeli military said they had detected hundreds of rockets fired from the area, with the Iron Dome system managing to intercept "dozens". The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) responded by hitting Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorist targets.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he had ordered the military to keep up "massive strikes" on "terror elements" in the Gaza Strip and reinforce the troops around the Gaza Strip with tanks, artillery and infantry forces amid the escalation of the border standoff following rocket attacks carried out by militants.

According to the Israeli state-run radio, a fresh Gaza rocket attack has resulted in the killing of two Israelis in the southern city of Ashkelon.

Earlier in the day, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) stated that the number of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel had reached at least 430 in under 24 hours.

The Israeli forces also said they had hit numerous targets in response.

"The IDF hit about 60 terrorist targets overnight and about 200 targets since the start of the escalation of tensions. Airstrikes on Gaza are underway", the IDF statement said.

Tensions in the Gaza Strip have further escalated early Saturday when the Israeli military said they detected dozens of rockets fired from the area.

The IDF responded by hitting Hamas and other terrorist targets. The Israeli military also attacked a building where Hamas' military intelligence and general security offices in the Gaza Strip were located. The Israeli military also hit militants of the Islamic Jihad group.

Tel Aviv later said that a 60-year-old man was killed after a rocket slammed into his house in the town of Ashkelon, a coastal city in the Southern District of Israel.

The Israeli-Palestinian tensions have been high since March 2018, when the Palestinians had started mass protests called the Great March of Return at the Gaza border. Since the start of the protests, nearly 300 Palestinian protesters were killed and over 17,000 were injured in clashes with Israeli security forces. The scope of the protests has noticeably decreased last month due to the fact that the parties to the conflict have managed, with the mediation of Egypt and the United Nations, to agree on easing the blockade of the Gaza Strip and other measures of social and economic support.


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