The Israeli military renewed its airstrike of the beleaguered Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, targeting several areas after rockets were fired from the enclave.
The new attacks come hours after at least 24 Palestinians – including nine children – were killed in overnight Israeli airstrikes on the strip after Hamas launched rockets from the coastal territory towards Israel, according to the health ministry in Gaza.
The rocket fire came after Gaza’s rulers Hamas issued an ultimatum demanding Israel stand down its security forces from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem after days of violence against Palestinians.
Israeli police stormed the compound on Monday for a third consecutive day, firing rubber-coated steel rounds, stun grenades, and tear gas at Palestinian worshippers inside the mosque in the final days of the holy month of Ramadan.
More than 700 Palestinians were hurt in Jerusalem and across the occupied West Bank over the past 24 hours.
Sami Abu Shehadeh, Palestinian Knesset member and leader of the Balad party, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed for an “escalation” in a bid to remain in power.
“All the escalation we are seeing now has a clear political target from Netanyahu’s point of view, and he is ready to do anything to keep himself in power including this massacre that we are going to see in Gaza,” Shehadeh said.
“What is happening here is a clear political decision that Netanyahu is responsible for to keep power.” Here