As the fragile ceasefire between Israel and Hamas held on Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened that any future rocket fire out of Gaza would be met with “a whole new level of force.”
“If Hamas thinks we will tolerate a ‘drizzle’ of rockets, it is mistaken,” Netanyahu said. “We will respond with a whole new level of force to every instance of aggression against the Gaza-envelope communities or anywhere else in Israel.” The “Gaza-envelope” refers to areas of Israel that are in range of the crude rockets that are fired from Gaza.
The 11-day Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza killed at least 248 Palestinians, including 66 children. In Israel, at least 12 people were killed by rockets fired out of Gaza, including two children. Netanyahu touted the onslaught as an “exceptional success.”
The US stood firmly behind Israel during the violence. After the ceasefire was announced, President Biden delivered remarks and promised to help “replenish” Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. While he had plenty of condemnation for Hamas’ rocket fire, Biden failed to denounce the Israeli killing of Palestinian children.
The bombardment of Gaza was sparked by planned evictions of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem. After days of Israeli violence against Palestinian protesters and Israeli police repeatedly storming the al-Aqsa mosque, firing rubber bullets and tear gas, rockets were fired out of Gaza.
The initial barrage of rockets that were fired out of Gaza on May 10th killed no one, and only left one Israeli “lightly injured.” Israel’s first round of airstrikes in response hit residential areas of Gaza and killed 20 Palestinians, including 10 children.