Palestinian violence has turned deadly on Israel’s multiple fronts over the past 24 hours.
Tensions were initially exacerbated yesterday during a a Hebron protest, where a 17-year-old Palestinian hurled a Molotov cocktail at IDF troops. The unit immediately responded with live fire, in accordance with the Israeli military’s rules of engagement. Palestinian medical authorities confirmed that the teenager had succumbed to gunshot wounds to the chest shortly after being shot. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed that “the troops responded with fire in order to remove the threat.” The IDF statement went on to point out that “Over the past few days, violent riots have been instigated in the city of Hebron adjacent to the Jewish community with dozens of Palestinian participants hurling rocks and Molotov cocktails at IDF troops and setting tires on fire.”
Additional violent disturbances were reported throughout the Palestinian territories throughout the day.
Less than four hours after the deadly shooting in Hebron, Palestinian-Islamists in Gaza fired a barrage of mortar shells from the Hamas-controlled enclave at Israel’s southern communities. No air raid sirens were activated and an alert was issued only via the Homefront Command’s mobile phone application; as the incoming projectile was headed for an uninhabited area where it ultimately exploded, thus causing no reported injuries or damage.
IDF fighter jets and other aircraft retaliated with strikes on militant installations throughout the Gaza Strip. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the targets included “underground infrastructure” belonging to Hamas; once again reiterating that the Islamist organization is “responsible for events transpiring in the Gaza Strip and emanating from it, and will bear the consequences for its actions against Israeli civilians.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu restricted a meeting on the security situation with leaders of communities adjacent to Gaza, to include only those affiliated with his Likud party. He thus held talks with the heads of the Merhavim and Sdot Negev Regional Councils, but not the Chairpersons of the Shaar Hanegev, Eshkol and Hof Ashkelon Regional Councils – which have been subject to near-daily rocket and mortar fire. Netanyahu reportedly aid the IDF is prepared to launch a military operation if mandated, although it would be preferable to resolve the situation without a wider conflagration. One of the council heads who attended the meeting said that the Netanyahu government remains determined to reach a truce with the Jihadist organizations in Gaza.