As waves of rockets descend upon Israeli cities, Israel has urged the Biden administration not to add waves of condemnation as well.
Violence escalated rapidly over the weekend and continuing into the week, beginning with Palestinian riots and clashes with security forces at the Temple Mount and ending with Israeli airstrikes on Gaza as a form of retribution for massive rocket attacks on southern Israel that included targets in Jerusalem.
Rocket fire from Hamas militants in Gaza continued overnight as what had been weeks of rising tensions exploded into an ever-widening crisis.
On Tuesday, Haaretz was reporting that over 250 rockets had been fired into Israel and that 140 targets were hit in Gaza by Israeli forces.
Two Israelis were killed in a rocket attack on Ashkelon, it reported, while Israel claimed it had killed the leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s rocket unit. Estimates of deaths in Gaza varied widely, with at least 20 people reported killed.
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Amid calls for the Biden administration to intervene, Israel said that the opposite strategy was the right approach.
On Sunday, Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben-Shabbat reportedly told U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan that the U.S. and international community should stay out of the tensions between Palestinian protesters and Israel that boiled over on Monday, with Palestinian rioters throwing stones and barricading themselves inside Temple Mount buildings, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Ben-Shabbat said “international intervention is a reward to the Palestinian rioters and those who back them who were seeking international pressure on Israel,” according to Axios, which cited “an Israeli official briefed on the call.”
The open hostility to Israel from across the Biden administration is as appalling as it is unfortunately typical of the progressive left that controls this administration. https://t.co/i4vG3uCPtI
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He said Israel will handle its affairs “from a position of sovereignty and responsibility regardless of Palestinian provocations,” according to Axios.
If the international community wished to do something useful, “they should put pressure on the inciting elements on the Palestinian side, the Israeli official said,” the outlet reported.
International interference would be “a prize for the rioters and those sending them who hoped to put pressure on Israel,” Ben-Shabbat also said, according to The Times of Israel.
Neither side seemed ready to stop.
Terrorists recently fired another barrage of rockets from Gaza toward the Israeli city of Ashkelon.
We intercepted the rockets with the Iron Dome Aerial Defense System, and are now striking Hamas terror targets. pic.twitter.com/5i87BRAgDn
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 10, 2021
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“If Israel continues to attack, we will turn Ashkelon into hell.”
Speaking to envoys from the European Union, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin defended his nation’s response to the violence.
“Yesterday Jerusalem was attacked. Since rockets have been shot at our cities, and thousands of children are with their parents in bomb shelters. No country in the world would accept this situation. We will take all necessary steps to defend our citizens,” he said.
Israel’s army has its “foot on the gas,” and will step up attacks on Gaza, Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Hidai Zilberman said.
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