Palestinians along the Gaza Strip launched the longest-range rocket attack against Israel to cause casualties in years, and Israel isn’t in the mood for de-escalation. The only Middle Eastern democracy is promising a strong response as it gathers forces on the border.
Seven Israelis were wounded near Tel Aviv by the morning rocket attack. The Gaza health ministry said two Palestinians were wounded by the initial wave of retaliatory strikes.
Dozens of explosions rocked the coastal enclave and ambulance sirens echoed through the night.
The residents of Gaza are preparing for a long fight, clearing stores of bread and other staples.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a visit to the United States, saying he would fly home right after meeting President Donald Trump.
“Israel will not tolerate this. I will not tolerate this,” Netanyahu said. “And as we speak … Israel is responding forcefully to this wanton aggression.”
Israel has waged three wars on Gaza since Hamas took control of the territory in 2007. Israeli air strikes in retaliation for rockets from Gaza are a frequent occurrence, but Israel’s swift mobilization of extra troops to the border area was unusual.
The Palestinian attack and Israeli response come just days after Trump noted that he supports Israel’s full annexation of the Golan Heights, an area that Israel captured from Syria and occupied after the 1967 war.
Like Trump moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, other Middle Eastern leaders appear to have met the latest developments with a collective yawn.
It appears that neighboring nations have their own issues to worry about.