IIn the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, the missile alarm was triggered again early Wednesday morning. The Israeli army said the city was under fire again. „Families are being woken up and taken to shelters in a hurry,” the army’s Twitter page said.
The extremist Islamist group Hamas was reported to have dropped more than 200 rockets towards Israel on Wednesday. This was reported by the French news agency. The military arm of Hamas said that it is currently firing 110 shells at Tel Aviv and 100 others at Beersheba. The attack is a response to the Israeli attacks in Gaza.
Rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening. Several explosions were heard in the city center. Sirens were heard across the city and Israeli air defense systems were activated. Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv has been closed to landings and takeoffs due to the attacks. Flights were diverted to Cyprus. The Traffic Authority declared that this step is necessary to „defend the sky above the earth.”
Hamas said it dropped a total of 130 rockets and spoke of a reaction to the destruction of a tall building in Gaza a few hours earlier. Rocket fire was heard in the Gaza Strip. As the projectiles rose in the sky, shouts of „God is Great”, „Victory to Islam” and „Resistance” were heard from the mosques.
Earlier, the Israeli army destroyed a building housing the offices of members of the political bureau of Hamas and spokesmen for the Palestinian Islamic Movement in the Gaza Strip. The 12-storey house in the center of Gaza City completely collapsed, journalists from Agence France-Presse reported. At first, no information was available about the dead or injured.
In total, health authorities in the Gaza Strip reported 28 deaths, including 10 children and one woman. According to the Israeli army, at least 16 of the dead were extremists.
Dead in the Tel Aviv area
And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced earlier that he would escalate attacks on the Palestinian territories in response to the massive rocket fire. Eyewitnesses reported, on Tuesday evening, that the occupation forces warned the residents of the building against the attack and demanded to leave the house.
In a televised address on Tuesday evening, Netanyahu said the operation had already dealt a severe blow to the extremists. But the fighting will continue for some time.
The prime minister said that Hamas and Islamic Jihad „have paid a heavy price and will pay a heavy price.” Israel will continue its intense operation, but it will take some time to complete the mission.
According to rescue workers, one person was killed and another wounded in Lod, near Tel Aviv. In Jehud, in the greater Tel Aviv area, a house was directly hit. The Ynet news site reported that an 84-year-old man in Tel Aviv fell on his way to a shelter.
According to media reports, a woman was killed by a direct missile from the Gaza Strip in the city of Rishon LeZion, near Tel Aviv. The rescue organization confirmed the death of Zaka.
In the city of Shulon, south of Tel Aviv, a bus was hit on Tuesday evening and burned out. Initial reports of a woman dying in this accident were not subsequently confirmed. The Times of Israel, citing the emergency services, reported that at least six people were injured in the rocket attack. According to the medics, many more were injured in the greater Tel Aviv area.
Violence between Palestinians and Israelis has escalated in the Middle East since Friday – in the fiercest clashes in several years. Palestinian militants fired about 480 rockets in one day from the Gaza Strip towards Israel on Tuesday. Of these, about 200 were intercepted and 150 failed to take off, according to the IDF. The Israeli army responded to the attacks with dozens of air strikes on targets in the coastal region on the Mediterranean Sea directly. There were deaths on both sides.
The US government condemned the rocket attacks on Israel. Spokeswoman Jane Psaki said the country had the right to self-defense. The United States is focusing on de-escalating the situation.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas condemned the massive rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip. Mas said Tuesday evening during his visit to Italy in Rome: „The fact that there is still such an escalation in violence cannot be tolerated or accepted, and we have made this clear to the Palestinian Authority.” The rocket attacks must be stopped immediately. „Israel has the right to defend itself in this situation,” Maas added.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting for the second time within a few days. Diplomats said that the consultations scheduled to take place on Wednesday morning (local time) in New York were initiated by China, Tunisia, Norway, France, Estonia, Ireland, Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Niger and Vietnam. The UN Commissioner for the Middle East, Thor Wennesland, is set to put the most powerful UN body in the picture at the meeting. The 15-member council was unable to agree on a common position at its first meeting on Monday.
The burning of a synagogue
Serious riots broke out Tuesday evening in the city of Lod, near Tel Aviv, where Arabs and Jews live together. According to media reports, Arab residents desecrated and set fire to a synagogue. Dozens of cars were set ablaze and shop windows were shattered.
The residents of Jews accused the police of completely losing control and demanded to send soldiers to the city. Then Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz agreed to deploy several battalions of Border Police officers to restore calm to the city.
In Lod, a 25-year-old Arab man was fatally wounded by her fire. On Tuesday, police said a 34-year-old was arrested afterwards. According to media reports, the suspect is a Jew from the city.
The Israeli authorities declared a state of emergency in the city. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said he had given the green light on Wednesday.
Israeli flags lit up in Bonn and Munster
Israeli flags were lit in front of two synagogues in North Rhine-Westphalia on Tuesday evening. Police in Munster found 13 suspects in the evening, some of them at the scene, they said. In Bonn, police reportedly arrested three suspects: two men, a 20-year-old and a 24-year-old. In both cases, State Security took over the investigation.
It was reported from Munster that several witnesses reported to the police via an emergency call that evening that a „group of about 15 people of Arab appearance” was standing in front of the synagogue, screaming loudly and burning the Israeli flag. The synagogue itself was not damaged. Defendants are being threatened with criminal charges for violating the assembly law.
Police said that several people were seen in front of the synagogue on Temple Street in Bonn, destroying the entrance with stones and firing at. Emergency services there found a flag illuminated in white and blue. A glass part of the entrance door to the synagogue was damaged by stones. Three pieces of paper were said to have been found possibly to have Arabic letters.