Yet another Israeli war in the Gaza Strip seems to be looming tonight after Israeli warplanes and tanks attacked a large number of targets in Gaza. The attacks killed at least 13 people, including a number of civilians, and many children were reported wounded in one shelling. The casualties sparked threats of retaliation from factions within the tiny strip.
The attacks came after Hamas, the de facto government of Gaza, declared a unilateral ceasefire early Friday morning, and by the evening a number of factions within Hamas were already disavowing the ceasefire, citing today’s killings.
Israel said that at least 20 missiles and mortars had been fired out of the Gaza Strip since, though none did any damage. Israeli officials shrugged off the civilian deaths, saying they were Hamas’ fault for having government offices inside populated portions of the densely populated strip.
The Israeli salvo came after a Thursday flurry by Gaza factions injured two people. The sides have been trading fire for months, but Israeli casualties have been unusual. The last Israeli invasion of Gaza, in early 2009, left 1,417 Gazans dead, mostly civilians.