Israel crisis: Netanyahu vows to ‘step up’ attacks after Gaza rockets kill Israeli women

Israel: Emergency services deployed after stampede

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Two women, one in her 60s and the other in her 80s, were killed in the city of Ashkelon during a wave of overnight border strikes. But following the fatal strikes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched a terrifying warning to the organisation.

The Israeli Prime Minister said: “Hamas will be hit in ways that it does not expect.

“We have eliminated commanders, hit many important targets and we have decided to attack harder and increase the pace of attacks.”

He added: “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.”

At least 28 Palestinians, including 10 children, were killed in Israeli strikes.

The Israeli military claimed at least 16 people who were killed were militants.

It is believed the violence was fuelled by Israel’s evictions of Muslim communities living in the east of Jerusalem.

Hundreds of people were left injured this week after riot police shot rubber bullets and fired tear gas at protesters.

Even before the deaths, the Israeli military said it was sending troops to the Gaza border and the defence minister ordered the mobilisation of 5,000 reserve soldiers.

The United Nations said it was “deeply concerned” over the escalation of violence and warned Israel that Palestinians must be allowed the freedom to congregate and protest.

Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva: “We condemn all violence and all incitement to violence and ethnic division and provocations.

“No force should be used against those exercising their rights peacefully.”

He added how when use of force is necessary, it should comply with international human rights.

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Mr Colville continued: “Detained children should be released.

“Things need to calm down.”

Israel and the Hamas organisation have engaged in several wars of varying intensity over the years.

The most serious outbreak of fighting since 2019 between Israel and armed factions in Hamas Islamist-run Gaza was triggered by clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Monday.

The holy city has been tense during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with sporadic unrest and possible evictions of Palestinians from homes claimed by Jewish settlers in a court case adding to the friction.

For four successive days, Israeli police fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets at Palestinians.

Speaking of the Israeli response to Hamas’s rocket attacks, army spokesman Conricus said: “We have started, and I repeat started, to attack military targets in Gaza.

“We have made preparations for various scenarios, including high-intensity ones… Hamas will get the message.”

The ongoing conflict has sparked concerns in the west, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden was monitoring the situation.

She said: “We have serious concerns about the situation, including violent confrontations that we’ve seen over the last few days.”

The US Embassy in Israel said the rocket fire was “unacceptable.”

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