Israel has mobilized some 5,000 reserve troops to augment its security and defense after Palestinian-based Hamas launched hundreds of missiles at Israeli cities.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the attacks and said Israel would pursue aggressive action to defend itself from terroristic violence.
“The terrorist groups in Gaza crossed a red line on the eve of Jerusalem Day, a red line, and attacked us with rockets on the outskirts of Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, said Israel “has no other choice but to defend its citizens from these indiscriminate attacks, and we demand the international community hold the Palestinians accountable and forcibly condemn their actions,” per The Jerusalem Post.
Hamas has attacked Israel with more than 500 rockets since Monday, including a barrage of 137 rockets launched in under five minutes, according to The Wall Street Journal.
According to that report, Israel said it struck back at targets including Hamas leadership, weapons manufacturing sites and tunnels used by Hamas forces to stage attacks on Israel.
“At the conclusion of a situational assessment, it was decided that both the strength of the attacks and the frequency of the attacks will be increased,” Netanyahu said, according to Reuters.
As of Tuesday morning, two Israelis and 28 Palestinians have been reported dead by their respective governments, according to The Associated Press.
Though small clashes have been a nightly occurrence for weeks, the violence began in earnest earlier this week in Jerusalem outside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site.
It was there, amid a prayer gathering of some 90,000 Muslims, that protesters threw stones at Israeli police officers, who responded in kind with tear gas and a water hose, according to The Associated Press.
According to that report, Hamas called for an armed uprising, or intifada, against Israel.
Hamas, which reigns as the de facto authority in the Gaza Strip, stemmed out of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood in the late 1980s and is widely recognized as a terrorist organization, though a select handful of nations — including Iran, Russia and Syria — do not consider it so.
Hamas was given some social backing and media support by the Qatari-funded International Union Of Muslim Scholars in the form of a distributed sermon, designed to be read in mosques on Friday, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute. The sermon issues a call to Muslim men to take up jihad against Israel and “sacrifice their souls” for Palestine against “Zionist usurpers.”
The current violence, like so much that Israel has seen in its history, is terrifying and complex, and will mean many different things to every Israeli who has to cower in fear from continued terror attacks that the international community seems intent on refusing to end.
One thing is certain, though, and that is that an Islamist terror network is attempting to overcome the missile defense system of the world’s only Jewish state. Hamas is sending these rockets into civilian areas in such great numbers that it potentially might overwhelm some of the capacity of Israel’s fabled Iron Dome air defense system and result in mass civilian casualties.
With civilians in harm’s way, and their legitimate nation at risk of mass violence and death at the hands of a virulent terrorist group, Israel is completely justified both ethically and politically to address this imminent threat with fire and fury.
It is past time that Israel mobilized its full might against such terror. It is past time that Israel do what is necessary to protect its people and its sovereignty.
It is past time to say goodbye to Hamas and its proxies, and good riddance.
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