TEL AVIV, July 15 /ITAR-TASS/. The death toll from Israel’s air strikes on the Gaza Strip over the week of the Protective Edge operation has reached 177, with 1,280 people receiving wounds of varying severity, the Palestinian enclave’s medical services reported Monday.
According to Palestinian human rights advocates, many children were killed during the military operation.
In turn, Palestinian radicals fired 100 missiles from the Gaza Strip on Israel on Monday; 15 of them were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system, the press service of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported.
Three Israelis have been wounded over the past 24 hours as a result of rocket attacks. In the southern city of Ashdod, an eight-year-old child was slightly wounded, and two teenagers aged 11 and 13 were injured when a missile exploded in the settlement of Lakiya near the city of Beersheba in southern Israel.
According to the army press service, one was seriously wounded and the other one received wounds of medium severity.
Overall, since the early morning of July 8, when the active phase of the currently ongoing military operation Protective Edge started, rocket attacks have left 18 Israelis wounded; dozens have been hurt when trying to hide in bomb shelters.
Over the week, Palestinian radicals from the Gaza Strip have fired more than 1,000 rockets on Israel, with 200 of them intercepted by Israel’s air defense systems. Tel Aviv came under fire 11 times; a few rockets exploded in Jerusalem, one of them hit a residential building.
In response, the Israel Defense Forces hit some 1,500 targets on the territory of the Palestinian enclave.
DETERIORATION OF ISRAEL-PALESTINE RELATIONS
Israeli-Palestinian relations grew sour after June 12, 2014, when three Jewish teenagers were abducted in the West Bank. Later the teenagers were found killed. Israel accused militants of the Palestinian militant Islamist group Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement), which controls the Gaza Strip, of committing the crime.
The operation to search for the teenagers continued for more than two weeks and was accompanied by searches, arrests of Palestinian activists and shellings of the Palestinian territory.
On July 1, 2014, a 16-year-old resident of the East Jerusalem’s Palestinian Arab neighborhood of Shuafat was kidnapped and killed. Six ultra-right Jewish activists were arrested for the crime. The death of the Palestinian teenager caused riots among Palestinians.
On July 8, 2014, the Israel Defense Forces announced the start of the operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip against Hamas militants. The IDF made strikes on 50 targets in the Gaza Strip, most of which were launching platforms for rockets. Five Palestinians were killed and some 20 were wounded.
The immediate reason for the operation was that cities in southern Israel were massively shelled by Hamas military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. According to the Israeli army’s press service, on July 7, some 90 missiles were fired on Israel from the Gaza Strip. As of early July, 450 missiles had been fired since the start of 2014.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the IDF to prepare for a possible ground operation. Israel announced mobilization of 1,500 reservists and sent two army brigades to the border with Gaza.
Since the start of their activity on December 14, 1987, Hamas militants set a course for liberation of Israel-occupied Palestinian territories. The group has made a few dozen terrorist attacks against military and civilian facilities of Israel.
Hamas regularly shells Israel’s territory with homemade rockets. In response, Israel shells Gaza and holds military operations there to suppress militant activity and destroy Hamas’ military structure. According to Hamas, 1,365 Israelis died in 1987-2011 in terrorist attacks made by its militants.