In several Israeli cities, sirens sounded this afternoon after missiles were fired from Gaza. Hamas, the group in power in Gaza, has claimed the rocket attacks, along with the radical Islamic Jihad movement.
Also in Jerusalem the sirens were ringing and blazing. Palestinians in Jerusalem responded with cheers. It is the first time since the war between Israel and Hamas in 2014 that Jerusalem sirens went off due to incoming missiles.
The Israeli army reacted with air strikes on Gaza. According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, 20 Palestinians, including nine children, were killed in Israeli air strikes in northern Gaza.
Three of those children were killed by a failed missile launch from Gaza, the Israeli army said earlier. The army also claims to have killed eight Hamas members in an air strike.
According to the Israeli army, six missiles fired at Jerusalem have landed in open territory. One missile could be intercepted by Israeli anti-aircraft systems. According to the Israeli Channel 12, a house in Mevaseret Zion, a suburb of Jerusalem, was damaged by a missile strike.
Check here footage of missiles fired at Jerusalem:
Hamas had demanded in an ultimatum that Israel withdraw its security forces from Temple Mount in Jerusalem before 6 p.m. In a statement, the movement claims to have fired the missiles in response to the crimes and aggression against the Holy City and the intimidation of our people in Sheikh Jarrah and the Al Aqsa Mosque. This is a message that the enemy will understand well.”
Its been restless in Jerusalem for weeks. This began in the beginning of Ramadan when Israel limited the number of Palestinians who could pray on the Temple Mount and placed fences at the Damascus Gate in the Old City, a common meeting place for Palestinians during Ramadan.
Over the past few days, planned expulsions of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem have provided additional oil on the fire. Hundreds of Palestinians were injured in confrontations with the Israeli police. Today Jerusalem Day is celebrated in Israel. In 1967, Israel captured the eastern part of the city during the Six Day War.
Cities closer to Gaza were also under fire. The radical movement Islamic Jihad claims to have fired thirty missiles at Sderot. An Israeli man was slightly injured when an anti-tank gun was shot at his car from Gaza. According to an army spokesman, a total of 50 missiles were fired at Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said that “Israel will react with great force”. According to Netanyahu, “those who attack us will pay a high price.” According to Netanyahu, the battles could continue “for a while”.
Hamas, in turn, warned Israel of air strikes on civilian targets. A spokesman for the armed arm of Hamas said that “our reaction will be firm and painful and exceed the expectations of the enemy”.