June 20, 2021

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Hamas lobs hundreds of rockets in 24 hours, Israel responds by attacking targets in Gaza – Fox News

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Israeli forces and Palestinian militants continued to exchange a volley of rockets on Tuesday in what was the heaviest fighting between the enemies since 2014.

About 850 rockets had been fired at Israel since Tuesday, according to an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson. About 85-90% of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defense system.

“In response to HUNDREDS of rockets in the last 24 hours, the IDF has struck a number of significant terror targets and terror operatives across the Gaza Strip, marking our largest strike since 2014,” the IDF wrote on Twitter. “We are currently striking more terror targets in Gaza.”

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The IDF has attacked about 500 targets in the Gaza Strip, along with two towers on Tuesday night, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported

The confrontations were sparked by weeks of tensions in contested Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to expand the offensive.

Early Wednesday, Israel unleashed dozens of airstrikes in the course of a few minutes, targeting both police and security installations, witnesses said. Iyad al-Bozum, a spokesman for the Hamas-run Interior Ministry, said airstrikes destroyed the central police headquarters in Gaza City, a compound with several buildings.

Smoke rises after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Smoke rises after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

The IDF said fighter jets neutralized key figures of Hamas’ intelligence, including Hassan Kaogi, head of the Hamas military intelligence security department, and his deputy, Wail Issa.

Gaza militants also unleashed a fierce late-night barrage of rockets, which set off air-raid sirens and explosions throughout the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

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Five Israelis, including three women and a child, were killed by rocket fire Tuesday and early Wednesday. Dozens were wounded. At least 43 Palestinians, including 13 children, were killed and more than 200 people were wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.

On Tuesday night, Netanyahu declared a state of emergency in a city just south of Tel Aviv.

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The emergency was declared after Arab and Jewish communities took to the streets in Lod Tuesday night, following the aggressive exchange of hundreds of rockets between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants since Monday.

Fox News’ Caitlin McFall and The Associated Press contributed to this report

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