The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, announced starting a fresh round of retaliatory attacks in early Thursday, Qatar’s Al Jazeera television network reported.
The Brigades said the fresh reprisal was a response to the regime’s striking civilian structures in Gaza.
Three Israelis were injured while trying to escape into shelters after hearing the rocket sirens in Tel Aviv, where three buildings were also seriously damaged by the resistance’s projectiles, the network said.
According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, five Israelis were injured after a resistance rocket struck a building in Tel Aviv. Israeli media outlets said a great fire also erupted after the strike and the area’s power was cut.
The Israeli strikes began after Gaza rose in protest against the regime’s brutalities in the Tel Aviv-occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank, especially the holy city of al-Quds.
Palestinian resistance movements then started retaliating by flying hundreds of rockets towards the occupied territories.
This was followed by even further escalation in the Israeli offensives. So far, a total of 67 Palestinians, including 17 children and six women, have been martyred in the Israeli assaults, and 388 others wounded in Gaza.
Israeli media outlets also verified that the Palestinian reprisal had set off rocket sirens throughout the central parts of Tel Aviv and the Ben Gurion International Airport in its outskirts. Israeli correspondents also reported hearing several explosions in the city’s suburbs, including at the airport itself.
Reports by some Arab media outlets said all flights destined for the airport had been redirected amid the situation, including one from Brussels that was loitering over Tel Aviv after failing to land at the terminal.
Unprecedented resistance achievement
According to various reports, for the first time during the resistance’s struggle against the Israeli occupation, the Palestinians’ rockets overflew well beyond Tel Aviv, reaching as far as the cities of Haifa and Nazareth that are situated in the north of the occupied territories.
Israeli journalists also reported that several buildings had been stricken in the city of Rishon LeZion in the north-central part of the occupied territories.
The entire situation began after the regime started to prevent Muslims from gathering and performing their religious duties across the West Bank, especially in al-Quds, following the beginning of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.
On one occasion, it assaulted thousands of Palestinians, who had gathered for prayers on the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in al-Quds’ Old City. On another, Israeli forces attacked al-Quds’ Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, trying to forcibly evict its residents.
So far, around four other Palestinians, including one child, have also died as a result of the regime’s atrocities across the West Bank.
US blocks anti-Israeli bid at UN despite spike in Palestinian toll
The US has, meanwhile, blocked a UN Security Council statement against the appalling spike in the Israeli aggression against Palestinians.
Up until Wednesday, the administration of United States President Joe Biden had been invited three times to negotiations, proposed by Norway and Tunisia, that could lead to the statement’s release. It turned down the offer in all the cases.
Washington has alleged that it was seeking to resolve the escalation through diplomatic intervention, claiming that such a statement could derail its efforts.
A potential statement on the part of the Security Council would ask Tel Aviv to halt its brutality against the two Palestinian territories.
The US’s non-cooperation with the bid came, although, Tor Wennesland, the UN special coordinator for the efforts that focus on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, warned on Twitter, “Stop the fire immediately. We’re escalating towards a full-scale war.”
“The cost of war in Gaza is devastating & is being paid by ordinary people,” he added. The regime has so far staged three wholesale wars against the coastal enclave, killing thousands of Gazans in each.
UNRWA alarmed at Israeli infanticide
The UN relief agency for Palestinian refugees condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the earlier killing of four children, two siblings and two cousins, during an Israeli airstrike on Gaza.
It said the victims were under the age of 12 and went to schools in the territory sponsored by the agency.
“Our hearts go out to their families and friends in communities that have been so cruelly affected by this latest escalation.”
Knesset, the Israeli parliament, has, nevertheless, greenlighted further intensification of the Gaza strikes.
The Israeli military has specified its most recent targets as “a number of strategically significant buildings belonging to Hamas,” including the movement’s naval units, its “main bank,” and “counterintelligence infrastructure.”
Russia asks Israel to respect al-Quds’ status quo
On Wednesday, Sergei Vershinin, a Russian deputy foreign minister, told the Israeli regime that the “status quo of sacred sites” in al-Quds had to be respected — a reference to Tel Aviv’s efforts to interfere with Muslims’ religious activities in the holy city, Russia’s RIA news agency reported.
He also called on Tel Aviv to “immediately” stop all settlement activities in the Palestinian territories, apparently referring to Israel’s violations in Sheikh Jarrah.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov separately called for a quick meeting of the group known as the Middle East Quartet that gathers the United Nations, the European Union, and the US apart from Moscow, to help defuse the situation.
Lavrov said holding such meeting was “the most acute task now.”