Terrorists in Gaza violated a ceasefire on Tuesday, launching rockets at Israel eight hours before a the temporary truce was set to expire. The IDF responded with renewed airstrikes on Hamas terror targets.
By Wednesday night, Israeli officials estimated over 150 projectiles had been fired from the small coastal enclave. Long range rocket launchings prompted warning sirens across central Israel, including Jerusalem. One rocket hit a highway in the Tel Aviv, but no injuries were reported. In response the IDF’s Homefront Command reopened bomb shelters within approximately 50 miles of Gaza.
Smoke rises from the site of an Israeli airstrike in Gaza. (Photo: The Times of Israel)
Meanwhile, the Israeli Air Force commenced 110 new strikes on Hamas’s infrastructure and leaders. Most notably, the IDF bombed the house of Qassam Brigades leader Mohammed Deif, killing his wife and son, but not Deif, according to the Hamas-run health ministry. Deif has long been a targeted by the Israeli government, he is widely considered the designer of Hamas’s rocket factories and underground tunnel system.
Approximately 19 Palestinians died from Israeli strikes, according to unverified reports from local health officials. Israel also claimed that it killed least four militants.
As the conflict restarted, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu withdrew an Israeli envoy stationed in Cairo, where officials had been conducting indirect talks with Palestinian leaders representing both Fatah and Hamas. During the negotiations, Hamas called for the lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza, but Jerusalem balked at reopening Gaza’s seaport or airport without meaningful security concessions from Hamas. Without a formal agreement, Israeli officials indicated only that “quiet will be met with quiet.”
The failure of talks to bring about a sustained truce continues to leave Hamas isolated diplomatically and financially. Officials in Jerusalem had cautioned against giving into the terrorist group’s demands, preventing it from being able to claim victory from any new concessions.