The furore over the brutal murder of a Palestinian teenager in ‘revenge killing’ manifested itself in the form of heightened conflict across the Israel-Gaza border with continued rounds of mortar and rocket firing from both sides.
Nine members of the Palestinian militant group Hamas have been killed in Israeli strike, which Israel says, were launched in retaliation to 25 mortar and rocket attacks by Gaza, the day before.
According to Hamas, six of its men were killed in a single air strike near Rafah, while other three were killed in separate attacks from Israel in response.
“Nine Hamas fighters were killed and four people were wounded in the attacks,” the group’s armed wing ‘Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades’ said in a statement.
Writing on his Facebook page, Sami Abu Zuhri, the Hamas spokesman in Gaza, vowed revenge against Israel saying, “This is a serious escalation and the enemy will pay the price”.
The increased firing from Gaza can be understood from the fact that Israel arrested hundreds of Hamas in search for the kidnappers of three Israeli teenagers, who were killed last month.
According to Israeli Deefence Forces (IDF), At least 150 rockets have landed in Israeli territory since June 14 when the West Bank operation was begun to find three Israeli teens kidnapped and murdered by Hamas.
Speaking in a weekly Cabinet meeting, PM Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday urged the Arab leaders “to show responsibility and come out against the wave of disturbances in order to restore quiet”.
Also, showing restraint over the border tension with Gaza, he said, “Experience has proved that at moments like this, we have to act responsibly and with a cool head and not with harsh words and impetuousness”.
At the heart of the recent escalation of conflict is the abduction and murder of three Israeli teen students, who were allegedly killed by Hamas militants.
However, the Palestinian militant group has denied any role.