Explosion and smoke seen during an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City. Reuters/Suhaib Salem photo
Air raid sirens sounded across Israel over the weekend as Hamas launched hundreds of rockets from the Gaza strip and the IDF retaliated with airstrikes targeted assassinations of Hamas leadership.
After the southern towns of Ashkelon and Beersheeba came under fire from rockets launched in the Gaza strip, the IDF killed senior Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari in an airstrike as Jabari and his aides were travelling by car on Wednesday. Hamas officials claim that additional Israeli airstrikes have killed 11 civilians in the Gaza strip. However, Hamas officials had been caught attempting to pass photos of Syrians killed in that nation's ongoing civil insurrection as Gazans victimised by Israeli violence earlier this week, casting doubt on the credibility of their claims.
Israeli officials said that most of the rockets- including the long-range, Iranian-made Fajr-5 capable of reaching Tel Aviv- were launched from civilian areas in the Gaza strip. Senior IDF officers say that the majority of the incoming rockets has been intercepted by the newly-deployed 'Iron Dome' interceptor system.
Israeli troops and armor have been massing along the Gaza border over the last few days as IDF commanders weigh an ground assault against Hamas targets in Gaza City. The Israeli army has also begun calling up thousands of reservists and erecting roadblicks in the southern portion of the country as both Hamas and the IDF took to social media to try and gain support worldwide.
While Israeli and Egyptian diplomats were meeting to discuss a ceasefire in Gaza, although Hamas has reportedly rejected any talk of a ceasefire.