More than 600 Iranian-funded Hamas terror missiles have been fired into Israel from Gaza. Four Israeli civilians have been killed. In retaliation, Israel has carried out military strikes against Hamas leaders in Gaza. President Trump tweets support for Israel.
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Rockets and missiles from Gaza killed four civilians in Israel while Israeli strikes killed 14 Palestinians, most of them militants, in surging cross-border fighting on Sunday, according to Gazan officials and the Israeli military.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he ordered the military to continue “massive strikes” against Gaza’s ruling Hamas group and Islamic Jihad in the most serious border clashes since a spate of fighting in November.
Israel’s military said that more than 600 rockets and other projectiles – over 150 of them intercepted by its Iron Dome anti-missile system – have been fired at southern Israeli cities and villages since Friday.
It said it attacked more than 260 targets belonging to Gaza militant groups. Gaza officials said Israeli air strikes and artillery fire killed 22 people, including 10 civilians, since Friday.
A rocket that hit a house in Ashkelon on Sunday killed a 58-year-old man, police said. He was the first such Israeli civilian fatality since the seven-week Gaza war in 2014.
Another rocket strike killed a factory worker, a hospital official said. The military said a civilian was killed near the border by an anti-tank missile fired at his car from Gaza and a fourth died when a rocket struck the city of Ashdod.
In Gaza, Islamic Jihad identified seven fighters killed in Israeli strikes, while medical officials said that six civilians also died.
In what it said was a separate, targeted attack, Israel’s military killed Hamed Ahmed Al-Khodary, a Hamas commander. The military said he was responsible for transferring funds from Iran to armed factions in Gaza. Hamas confirmed Khodary had been killed.
The attack on his car was the first such killing by Israel of a top militant since the war five years ago. Israel had suspended what Palestinians call an assassination policy in an attempt to lower tensions. (read more)
In response to the escalating attacks, National Security Adviser John Bolton announces the U.S. is moving military into the region.
“In response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings, the United States is deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the U.S. Central Command region to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force. The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces.” (WH Link)