After another night of continuous rocket fire from Gaza, the Israeli Defense Force has begun reinforcing the Gaza border with tanks and heavy artillery. Israel has accused Hamas as the driving force behind both the kidnappings as well as the recent rocket fire. It has resulted in the arrest of hundreds of Hamas operatives in the West Bank.
Palestinians in the meantime have been accusing Israel in the death of one of their own teenagers as a means of revenge. Rocket fire from Gaza has greatly increased in the past few weeks since the disappearance of the Israeli teenagers. Israel has responded with airstrikes of their own, resulting in the deaths of at least two Palestinian militants. Israel has not reported any casualties at this time.
The majority of the Palestinian rocket fire has landed in the southern region of Israel. On Wednesday night, July 2, two homes in Sderot were struck. While a part of the city lost power, no injuries were reported. Israel responded with airstrikes the same night and confirmed hits on 15 Hamas targets. Hamas has had control over Gaza since they seized power from Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2007.
Though Hamas has not taken responsibility for the abduction and murder of the three Israeli teens, they have commended the slayings. Palestinians have taken to social media in the following weeks praising the murders while throwing up three fingers to the camera. In Jerusalem, the kidnappings sparked vicious rock throwing between Palestinians and Israeli troops.
Buses filled with IDF soldiers have been seen moving south to secure the border.
“If Hamas keeps things quiet, we will keep things quiet,” a senior Israeli military official explained, as reported by CBS.
Despite the propaganda spread by pro-Palestinian supporters, Israel claims to just want peace.