JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli navy says it’s putting targets within the Gaza Strip as air raid sirens sounded in Jerusalem after the Hamas militant group introduced a brand new operation in opposition to Israel.
The sounds of not less than three explosions might be heard as Israel deployed anti-rocket defenses.
The assault on Jerusalem is taken into account a significant escalation by Israel.
Earlier, the chief of Hamas’ navy wing mentioned over 5,000 rockets have been fired into Israel.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows beneath.
JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian militants within the Gaza Strip on Saturday carried out what seemed to be an unprecedented infiltration into southern Israel, prompting Israel to order residents throughout the area to stay indoors. The infiltration befell as militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel.
The Israeli navy mentioned “a lot of terrorists have infiltrated into Israeli territory.” It gave no additional particulars, however beginner movies posted on social media confirmed what seemed to be uniformed gunmen contained in the Israeli border city of Sderot. The sound of gunfire might be heard within the movies, whose authenticity couldn’t instantly be verified.
The infiltration got here as militants within the Gaza Strip launched dozens of rockets towards Israel early Saturday, setting off air raid sirens throughout the nation and elevating the probability of a brand new spherical of heavy preventing.
The sound of outgoing rockets whooshing by means of the air might be heard in Gaza and sirens wailed as far-off as Tel Aviv, some 70 kilometers (40 miles) to the north, throughout an early morning barrage that lasted greater than half-hour. Israel’s Magen David Adom rescue company mentioned a 70-year-old lady was critically injured when a rocket hit a constructing in southern Israel. Elsewhere, a 20-year-old man was reasonably injured by rocket shrapnel, it mentioned.
Because the rocket assaults continued all through southern and central Israel, tens of millions of Israelis have been instructed to remain close to bomb shelters of their properties and condominium buildings. The military mentioned residents subsequent to Gaza ought to keep of their properties as a result of “safety incident.”
Palestinian media in Gaza reported a doable try by militants to infiltrate Israel, however no additional particulars have been instantly recognized.
There was no instant response from Israel. However the Israeli navy often carries out airstrikes in response to rocket fireplace, elevating the probability of wider preventing. Though there was no declare of duty for the rocket fireplace, Israel sometimes holds the ruling Hamas militant group chargeable for any fireplace emanating from the territory.
The launches got here after weeks of heightened tensions alongside Israel’s risky border with Gaza, and heavy preventing within the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution.
Israel has maintained a blockade over Gaza since Hamas, an Islamic militant group that opposes Israel, seized management of the territory in 2007. The bitter enemies have fought 4 wars since then. There have additionally been quite a few rounds of smaller preventing between Israel and Hamas and different smaller militant teams primarily based in Gaza.
The blockade, which restricts the motion of individuals and items out and in of Gaza, has devastated the territory’s financial system. Israel says the blockade is required to maintain militant teams from increase their arsenals. The Palestinians say the closure quantities to collective punishment.
The rocket fireplace comes throughout a interval of heavy preventing within the West Financial institution, the place almost 200 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli navy raids this 12 months. Israel says the raids are geared toward militants, however stone-throwing protesters and other people uninvolved within the violence have additionally been killed. Palestinian assaults on Israeli targets have killed over 30 individuals.
The tensions have additionally unfold to Gaza, the place Hamas-linked activists held violent demonstrations alongside the Israeli border in latest weeks. These demonstrations have been halted in late September after worldwide mediation.