At Least 70 Mortar Shells Strike Israel, Largest Since 2014

A barrage of mortar shells was fired toward several locations in Southern Israel on Tuesday morning, amid heightened tensions along the Gaza border.

According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) latest update on the attacks, “Approx. 70 mortars & rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel in several barrages & single launches, some of which were Iranian-made rockets.”

Initial reports had the total number of shellings much lower.

The rockets were launched from Gaza and most were intercepted by the IDF’s Iron Dome aerial defense system, according to Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Sirens rang out throughout the areas.

“One of the rockets exploded in an Israeli Kindergarten yard. No injuries reported,” the ministry tweeted.

The Hamas terrorist group and Iran backed-Islamic Jihad have claimed responsibility for the terrorist rocket attacks on Israel according to a Tuesday, May 29, update from the official Embassy of Israel.

“At this time, Europe and the US have issued high-level condemnations of Hamas – it is these statements that can put pressure on Hamas and stop its violence,” the embassy tweeted.

There were no reports of major material damage, but the sheer number of shellings appeared to mark the largest attack from the Gaza Strip since the 2014 war, which was then known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge.

On Tuesday afternoon, the United States called for an “emergency meeting” between the UN secretary council to discuss the latest attacks on Israel. The department said they are expecting the meeting to take place tomorrow on Wednesday afternoon.

“Mortars fired by Palestinian militants hit civilian infrastructure, including a kindergarten. The Security Council should be outraged and respond to this latest bout of violence directed at innocent Israeli civilians,” Nikki Haley, the US Ambassador to the United Nations said in a statement.

Haley also stressed that the Palestinian leadership “needs to be held accountable” for the events in Gaza.

The border area along the Gaza strip has been under pressure in the past few weeks as Palestinians protested the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt in 2007 when the Hamas terrorist group seized power.

Amid the attacks, the Israeli Navy also apprehended a Palestinian boat that had attempted to breach the legal naval blockade. After a search, the boat will be towed to the Israeli Navy base in Ashdod.

 

Watch Next:

Kushner Talks Peace in Middle East at US Embassy Jerusalem Dedication Ceremony

RECOMMENDED