After more than a week of fighting, amid calls for calm from major powers and the increase in casualties, the war between Israel and Hamas escalated Tuesday, with reports of rockets also being fired from Lebanon.
According to Fox News, in a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, President Biden voiced support for a cease-fire between Israel and Gaza's militant Hamas rulers, but he stopped short of demanding an immediate halt to the eight days of Israeli airstrikes and Hamas missile barrages that have killed more than 200 people, the majority of whom are Palestinians.
Over the course of eight days, Hamas has launched almost as many missiles – 3,350 so far – as it did during the entire 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in 2014, killing nine Israeli civilians, including two children and at least one soldier.
Meanwhile, although civil unrest among Palestinians and Arab Israelis has subsided in recent days, organizers have gone on strike and others have called for demonstrations Tuesday afternoon to condemn Israel's air military campaign in Gaza and other actions targeting Palestinians.
Israel's officials, for their part, have stated that they will end their airstrike campaign when Hamas ends their rocket strikes on Israel.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed this sentiment in a statement obtained by the New York Times, saying the military will continue until it achieves its objective. "The directive is to continue striking at the terrorist targets," Netanyahu said after meeting with Israeli officials. "We will continue to take whatever action necessary in order to restore quiet and security for all the residents of Israel."
The current fighting between Israel and Palestine started when Hamas militants launched over 200 rockets into Israel in what an Israeli Defense Forces spokesman called a "blatant, severe attack" after the Jerusalem Day attack on Jewish religious observers who were celebrating Jerusalem Day.
According to Reuters, in response to incendiary weapons fired from the Palestinian enclave that destroyed Israeli agriculture, Israel's military said it targeted underground infrastructure and a military post belonging to Gaza's Islamist rulers.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Fatima Shbair/Stringer
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.