Israel and Palestine in airstrikes amid ceasefire, Netanyahu says ‘we WON’T tolerate this’
The move, an unusual escalatory step, came after Israel and Gaza militants exchanged rocket fire overnight. Seven Israelis were wounded near Tel Aviv when a house was destroyed by a rocket fired from the Gaza strip. Hours later, Israel responded with a wave of retaliatory attacks which wounded five Palestinians. Hamas said Egypt negotiated a fragile ceasefire late on Monday, although neither Israel or the Egyptians have commented on any truce, and Gaza militants fired rockets into southern Israel while Israeli aircraft carried out strikes in the Hamas-ruled territory overnight Tuesday.
Latest video from the border region showed at least half a dozen tanks being mobilised by the Israeli Army and explosions could still be heard in Gaza early on Tuesday morning.
Israeli Channel 10 news correspondent Or Heller posted a video on Twitter of the tanks near the border.
The journalist said the “forces continue to descend south” towards the 1950 Armistice Agreement Line which separates Israel from Hamas-ruled Gaza.
The Israeli military said in a statement it was “prepared for various scenarios” while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut short a visit to Washington to deal with the latest round violence.
In a press conference standing alongside President Trump, Mr Netanyahu vowed “Israel will not tolerate this”.
He added: “As we speak, Israel is responding forcefully to this wanton aggression.”
President Trump said Israel had the “absolute right” to defend itself.
Israel has waged three wars on Gaza since the Islamist militant group 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 movement of extra troops to the border area was an unusual step, raising fears of a fresh conflict.
Overnight, Gaza militants fired further barrages of rockets into Israel, many of which were shot down by the Israeli defences while others landed in empty areas.
Earlier, dozens of explosions had rocked the Palestinian coastal enclave of Gaza but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Londoner Robert Wolf, whose house was destroyed in the initial rocket attack fired over from the Gaza strip, described how he nearly lost his entire family.
Mr Wolf, who was at home with his wife, two children, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren in Mishmeret near Tel Aviv, said: “If we hadn’t got to the bomb shelter in time I would now be burying all my family.”
“They would all be dead if we didn’t do what we were supposed to do.”
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