Israeli military targeted the Gaza Strip amidst threats by the country’s Prime Minister to exact a heavy price from their enemies.
The situation escalated following unrest over two days at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site and a rare rocket attack from neighboring Lebanon.
The Passover holiday for Jews and Ramadan month for Muslims further exacerbate the tense atmosphere, reminiscent of the 11-day war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers in 2021. The violence began when Israeli police twice raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City.
This led to rocket fire from Gaza and an unusual barrage of nearly three dozen rockets from Lebanon into northern Israel. Late on Thursday after his Security Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said “Israel’s response, tonight and beyond, will extract a heavy price from our enemies” without elaboration.
Rocket fire into southern Israel immediately followed, as outgoing rockets whooshed into the skies toward Israel.
The Israeli military said the rocket fire on its northern and southern fronts was in connection to the week’s violence at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the relative calm in Lebanon since a 34-day war in 2006 ended in a draw could be jeopardized.