Israel says deadly strikes on Gaza 'just the beginning'

Israel says deadly strikes on Gaza 'just the beginning'
Defence Minister Benny Gantz said the Israeli military was planning strikes on 'many targets' in the besieged coastal strip.
2 min read
11 May, 2021
The Israeli military has said it has struck more than 500 targets [Getty]
Deadly Israeli airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip are "just the beginning", Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Tuesday evening.

The Israeli military has "many targets" in Gaza, Gantz said following airstrikes on some 500 targets in the coastal strip since Monday evening.

The defence minister's comments came after Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants fired a barrage of rockets at central Israel in retaliation for the strikes, which have claimed at least 30 Palestinian lives.

One Israeli was killed by rocket fire near Tel Aviv, medics said on Tuesday evening. Another two Israeli civilians were killed on Monday.

The Israeli military has said it has hit some 500 targets in the Gaza Strip, killing dozens of militants.

Palestinian medics say at least 30 civilians, including ten children, have been killed in Israeli strikes on the densely populated Gaza Strip.

"This is just the beginning," Gantz said. "Terror organisations have been hit hard and will continue to be hit because of their decision to hit Israel. We'll return peace and quiet, for the long term."

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Gaza militants will "pay a dear price" for rocket fire against Israel.

"Their blood is on their own hands," the longtime Israeli leader said.

Hamas, the militant faction that rules Gaza, appeared not to be deterred by the Israeli leader's threats on Tuesday evening.

"We have achieved victory in the battle for Jerusalem, the defense of Jerusalem," the group's chief Ismail Haniyeh said.

Hamas has created a "new balance of power" with Israel, he added.

The uptick in violence in the Gaza Strip was prompted by police attacks on worshippers in Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque compound in recent days.

Hundreds of Palestinians were wounded after Israeli forces fired tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades into the complex, which is Islam's third holiest site.

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