Pause In Palestinian Rocket Attacks, Israeli Airstrikes, Amid Unofficial Cease-Fire

30 May, 2018, 20:25 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures chicken wings as he enters a cabinet meeting

Three Israeli soldiers were wounded in the exchange of fire. One exploded in a kindergarten yard, damaging walls and scattering debris and shrapnel around the playground, about an hour before it was scheduled to open for the day. At least 116 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire at mass demonstrations along the border, drawing worldwide condemnation for Israel over its use of lethal force.

Protesters have demanded that Palestinians who were expelled in the 1948 war amid Israel's creation be allowed to return to their former homes, now inside Israel.

Tuesday's violence bore a striking resemblance to the run-up to past wars. The Tel Aviv regime said its assault came in response to a barrage of rocket and mortar rounds fired at the occupied territories.

By late Tuesday, Israeli aircraft had hit 55 facilities belonging to militant groups in Gaza, including a cross-border tunnel under construction, in response to the Palestinian barrages, the military said.

Rockets fired by Palestinian militants are seen over the Gaza Strip heading toward Israel, early Wednesday, May 30, 2018.

Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis, the chief military spokesman, threatened tougher action and said it was up to Hamas to stop the situation from escalating.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday told reporters in Moscow that his government wants the Syrian army to re-conquer the border area with Israel and Jordan, and called upon all foreign forces, including the Iranians, to leave Syria.

Al-Qassam Brigades and al-Quds Brigades, divisions of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad Palestinian groups, claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks from Gaza. He said the factions, including Islamic Jihad, would agree to the cease-fire as long as Israel did the same.

Khalil al-Haya, a senior Hamas official, said Egyptian mediators intervened "after the resistance succeeded in warding off the aggression" - the largest flare-up of violence between the sides since the 2014 war.

Tuesday's nights ceasefire was announced in a rare joint statement from Hamas and Islamic Jihad. "They've been pressured by the Egyptians and their own civilians to reach a long cease-fire with Israel".

But Israel has faced worldwide criticism and calls for an independent investigation over its use of live fire during the protests and border clashes.

With limited options at its disposal, and a failure so far of the protests to significantly ease the blockade, Hamas appears to be gambling that limited rocket fire might somehow shake up the situation.

But Israeli officials deny the Hamas claim.

Intelligence and Transportation Minister Israel Katz with PM Netanyahu.

Later Tuesday, a rocket fired by Gaza Strip militants struck a building on Israeli territory key to supplying power to the southern part of the enclave, potentially worsening an already dire energy supply in the zone.



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