Explosions were seen in Gaza City on Wednesday due to a suspected Israeli airstrike. Israel reportedly targeted several Hamas military sites in the northern Gaza strip after claims that Palestinian militants had fired four rockets at southern Israel. The suspected rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system, with no reports of injuries or damage. There have been no immediate claims of responsibility for the rocket fire.
Gaza is under attack.— 🏴🌹Craig Beaton🇵🇸 Free Palestine (@CraigLBeaton) January 15, 2020
Palestinians are fleeing in terror. This is the state of Israel sending its fighters in to bomb them out. This is a war crime. This is ethnic cleansing. This is indefensible.
The United Nations believe this to be the case, so why do we allow it? pic.twitter.com/zO1Mf5YCt3
2 milions in Gaza Can not sleep because— ✌❤🇵🇸Ameera_Ahmed🇵🇸 ❤✌ (@Ameera_Ahmed00) January 15, 2020
Israel attacks on Gaza 9:24 PM pic.twitter.com/g5wHx1jNjj
Hours later, Israel returned fire with airstrikes, which also caused no injuries. The rocket attacks were the first in nearly a month, coming amid international efforts to negotiate a truce between Israel and Gaza's ruling Hamas group. The exchange comes after November 2019 saw some of the worst violence in months between two groups, after the Israeli military killed a senior Hamas commander.
The two conflicting parties have been conducting indirect negotiations through Egyptian, the United Nations, and Qatari mediators aimed at easing an Israeli blockade of the territory in exchange for a halt to rocket fire.
On December 26, Israel retaliated with airstrikes against the Gaza strip after a rocket was fired from Hamas-controlled Palestinian enclave towards Ashkelon. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was present in the city for an election rally and he was hustled from the stage to provide cover from the attack.
A video posted by an Israeli newspaper showed Netanyahu, along with his wife, being taken to a shelter after sirens went off. The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said that the iron dome intercepted a rocket mid-air, fired at civilians, from Gaza strip. In response to the attack, the Israeli Air Force struck a number of Hamas terror targets in Gaza.
IDF Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant General Aviv Kochavi, in an address, explained the forces' plan to combat future threats. Kochavi said that Israel would not hesitate forcefully striking urban areas since it’s the enemy who chose to position itself there. “When we say there, it isn't just that the enemy chose to position itself there, but the enemy also chooses to fire thousands of rockets and missiles at Israeli civilians,” said Kochavi.
(with AP inputs)