TOPLINE Gaza militant groups launched another round of more than 100 rockets into central Israel in retaliation for the Israeli military leveling another Gaza Tower, a move that sent millions of Israelis into hiding in bomb shelters as the conflict’s death toll continues to climb.
Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, said the 130 rockets it fired toward Israel Wednesday afternoon were a direct response to the destruction of Gaza City’s Al Sharuk tower earlier in the day.
Footage circulating on social media Wednesday shows the 14-story tower collapsing after it was targeted for a strike by the Israel Defense Forces.
Besides residential apartments, the building also housed the offices of local and international media outlets, according to reports.
More than 335 Palestinians in Gaza have been wounded in the attacks, Gaza’s health officials said Wednesday, and of the 56 who have been reported killed, 14 were children.
Strikes from Hamas and other Gaza militant groups like Islamic Jihad have injured roughly 100 and killed 6 in Israel, including a 21-year-old soldier and an Indian woman who was reportedly on a video call with her husband when she died.
International powers are calling for a ceasefire. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will send top diplomat Hady Amr to the region “to urge deescalation and to bring calm,” Blinken said Wednesday.
Weeks of tension reached a tipping point Saturday when Hamas fired rockets into Jerusalem after Israeli security forces confronted Palestinian protestors within the compound of the city’s Al Aqsa Mosque, one of the holiest sites in Islam. Relations between Israel and Palestinians had been strained over the efforts of Jewish settlers to forcibly evict Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem and celebrations of Jerusalem Day, a controversial holiday that marks the anniversary of Israel seizing control of East Jerusalem in the Six-Day War in 1967.
By Carlie Porterfield, Forbes Staff
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