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Hamas warns Israel before barrage on Tel Aviv

by JTA

2 weeks ago

<em>Tel Aviv beach, image via Wikimedia Commons</em>

Tel Aviv beach, image via Wikimedia Commons

Hamas warned Israel in a Hebrew message that it would fire on Tel Aviv in a barrage that would test the Iron Dome missile defense system.

The rockets were fired on Tel Aviv after 9 p.m. on Saturday, an hour after Hamas warned the operators of the Iron Dome batteries to be “prepared to the maximum.”

Rockets fired from Gaza hit Israel’s south and center all day on Saturday, with nearly 90 from morning to evening.

Following the barrage on Tel Aviv, Hamas said it fired 10 rockets on the major Israeli city. Iron Dome intercepted six of them.

Following the announcement of the evening rocket fire on Tel Aviv, Gazans danced in Jabalya, located near Gaza City in North Gaza, after false reports that Israelis were injured. Footage of the celebrations was broadcast on Israel Channel 2.

Tel Aviv night life reportedly continued as usual, with bars and coffee houses as busy as usual. A performance of the Israel Philharmonic in Tel Aviv went on as scheduled.

Also Saturday evening, two rockets fired from Gaza landed near Hebron and Bethlehem, in areas of the West Bank controlled by the Palestinian Authority.

Following those attacks, the IDF distributed rocket safety information in Arabic to residents of the Palestinian Authority.

An Israeli strike air on what has been identified as the home of Gaza’s police chief Tayseer Al-Batsh killed 15 Palestinians on Saturday, many of them from the same family, Gazan authorities told AFP.

The Palestinian death toll since the start of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge five days ago is 151, with over 1,000 wounded, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.

The United Nations Security Council on Saturday unanimously approved a declaration calling on Israel and the Palestinians to end the hostilities and return to the “calm and restitution of the November 2012 ceasefire,” following Israel’s last operation in Gaza.”

The statement, prepared by the United States and Jordan, conveyed “serious concern” for the “protection and welfare of civilians on both sides,” and called on Israel and the Palestinians to respect “international humanitarian laws.” The declaration also called on Israel and the Palestinians to return to the peace negotiating table and arrive at an agreement “based on the two-state solution.”

Also on Saturday, three rockets fired from Lebanon landed in northern Israel. Israel responded with artillery fire into Lebanon in the direction of the rocket fire.

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