An Israeli air strike hit a 13 story residential block in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, which subsequently collapsed, Reuters reported. Later, in a separate retaliatory rocket attack from the Gaza Strip, three people in Tel Aviv were wounded.
Shortly after the attack on the Gaza Tower, Islamic terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad said that they would retaliate with attacks on Tel Aviv. In the Israeli city, pedestrians ran for shelter and restaurants across Tel Aviv closed, amid air raid sirens and multiple explosions.
“We are now carrying out our promise. The Qassam Brigades are launching their biggest rocket strike against Tel Aviv and its suburbs, with 130 rockets, in response to the enemy’s targeting of residential towers.” Hamas said in a statement.
The recent surge in violence between the Israel and Palestine was triggered by clashes at Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque on Monday. The city, which holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians, has been tense during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with the threat of a court ruling evicting Palestinians from homes claimed by Jewish settlers adding to the friction.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would step up its strikes on Gaza, an enclave of 2 million people, in response to the rocket attacks. “Both the strength of the attacks and the frequency of the attacks will be increased,” Netanyahu warned.
Within an hour after Netanyahu’s statement, Israeli authorities said they had deployed jets to bomb rocket launch sites in and around Gaza City. Officials also that said infantry and armour were being dispatched to reinforce the tanks already gathered on the border, evoking memories of the last Israeli ground incursion into Gaza to stop rocket attacks, in 2014, Reuters adds.