The largest joint US-Israel military operation ever, a drill simulating missile attacks across several fronts, took on an unusual significance today as Israeli soldiers on the Gaza frontier struggled with very real incoming missiles amid a new round of escalation on the border.
Israeli warplanes continued to hit the Gaza Strip with airstrikes today, killing four Palestinians who they termed “militants.” Meanwhile, Gaza factions fired some 80 rockets against the southern region of Israel, wounding two. Israeli officials claimed eight missiles were shot down by their defense systems.
The exchange of fire erupted shortly after the Qatari Emir ended his visit to the Gaza Strip, and both sides traded blame for the escalation, as top Israeli officials threatened “much more extensive” attacks against the strip in the days to come.
Palestinian officials claim that a ceasefire has been negotiated by Egypt that would bring the exchange of fire to a halt as of midnight tonight. Hamas has reportedly promised to deploy troops along the border to prevent smaller factions from violating the ceasefire. Israeli officials denied the report, however, claiming no deal was in place.
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