The Hamas terror group on Monday launched a rare rocket strike on Jerusalem after hundreds of Palestinians were hurt in clashes with Israeli police at an iconic mosque, as tensions in the holy city pushed the region closer to full-fledged war.
Israel responded with airstrikes across the Gaza Strip.
It was a long day of anger and deadly violence that laid bare Jerusalem’s deep divisions, even as Israel tried to celebrate its capture of the city’s eastern sector and its sensitive holy sites more than half a century ago. With dozens of rockets flying into Israel throughout the night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with top security officials and warned that the fighting could drag on, despite calls for calm from the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.
“The terrorist organizations in Gaza have crossed a red line and attacked us with missiles in the outskirts of Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “Whoever attacks us will pay a heavy price,” he said, warning that the fighting could “continue for some time.”
By late Monday, the military had carried out dozens of airstrikes across Gaza, targeting what it said were Hamas military installations and operatives. Hamas tunnel, rocket launchers and eight militants had been hit.