BIn the deadliest missile attack yet on the Israeli port city of Tel Aviv since the start of the conflict in the Middle East, at least three people were killed. According to the rescue organization Zakka, a woman died of direct injuries on Tuesday evening in Rishon LeZion. On Wednesday morning, the police announced that a man and a young man had been killed in the city of Lod, near Tel Aviv. Zakka first spoke about a woman and a child. According to the emergency services, a house in the city of Yehud, in the greater Tel Aviv area, was directly hit.
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.
According to the Israeli army, Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have so far fired more than a thousand rockets at Israel. Military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said Wednesday morning that about 850 rockets were intercepted or landed in Israel, and about 200 others landed in the Gaza Strip. According to him, five people have so far been killed by rockets fired in Israel. More than 200 others were injured.
Several explosions were heard in downtown Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening. 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.”
After the bombing from the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army launched airstrikes on the homes of several senior members of the radical Islamist movement Hamas. On Wednesday morning, the army announced that the police headquarters in the Gaza Strip had been hit.
The army also destroyed two multi-storey buildings in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday night. According to the information, there were offices of senior Hamas members. The Israeli forces had warned the residents of the buildings against the attack. Before the first building was demolished, Hamas had threatened to launch a „severe” missile attack on Tel Aviv.
According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, the number of Palestinians killed has risen to 35 since Monday, including 12 children and three women. 233 people were injured. According to local media and eyewitnesses, some children were killed in Israeli air strikes, and others were killed by wrong bombs by extremists. According to the Israeli army, at least 20 members of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Islamic Jihad were killed, among them high-ranking officials.
Netanyahu fears more fighting
And Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced earlier that he would escalate attacks on the Palestinian territories in response to the massive rocket fire. Palestinian militants have fired rockets at Israel since Monday evening, shortly after 6 pm.
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.
The burning of a synagogue
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.
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 Netanyahu and Defense Minister Benny Gantz agreed to send several battalions of Border Police officers to restore calm to the city. The Israeli authorities declared a state of emergency in the city. Netanyahu’s office said Netanyahu gave it the green light on Wednesday.
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.
Violence between Palestinians and Israelis has escalated in the Middle East since Friday – in the fiercest clashes in several years. The US government condemned the rocket attacks on Israel. Spokeswoman Jane Psaki said the country had the right to self-defense. The United States focused on calming 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.