Israel bombed dozens of sites in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, striking at Hamas after finding the bodies of three missing teenagers whose abduction and killing it blames on the Palestinian Islamist group.
Israel’s security cabinet, which held an emergency session late on Monday and was due to meet again on Tuesday, was currently split on the scope of any further action in the coastal enclave and the occupied West Bank, officials said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had promised Hamas would pay after the discovery of the three Jewish seminary students’ bodies under a pile of rocks near the West Bank city of Hebron on Monday.
The military said aircraft attacked 34 sites, mostly belonging to Hamas, though its statement did not link the strikes to the abductions.
Instead, it cited 18 Palestinian rocket launched against Israel from Gaza in the past two days which Israeli officials have said Hamas carried out.
The Islamist group has neither confirmed nor denied Israel’s allegations about its role in the disappearance of the students as they hitchhiked near a Jewish settlement on June 12.
At the security cabinet meeting, the army proposed “considered and moderate actions” against militants in the West Bank in response to the teenagers’ deaths, said officials. Any sustained campaign there could undermine Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
But the cabinet did not agree on a future course of action at that session, officials added.