Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system intercepted dozens of rockets fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, amid an ongoing conflict that has escalated in the last several days over religious sites in Jerusalem.
The rockets were fired by Hamas, a Palestinian organization designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department.
Videos from Monday showed dozens of Hamas rockets aimed toward the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. Rockets can be seen exploding mid-air being struck by the Iron Dome’s interceptor missiles.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) say Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets at Israel.
The New York Times reported that the barrage of rocket fire coming from Hamas comes after Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City area of Jerusalem, clashing with hundreds of Palestinian protesters on Monday. Al-Aqsa is the third-holiest site in Islam and is located on the Temple Mount, which is the holiest site in Judaism.
On Tuesday, the IDF tweeted, “1 rocket every 3 minutes. That’s how often terror groups in Gaza have been firing rockets toward Israel in the last 18 hours.
The Israeli military announced on Tuesday morning that six Israeli civilians were injured by rocket fire. Israeli officials have since announced two civilians have been killed in the rocket attacks.
“#BREAKING Video: Multiple rockets shot from Gaza being intercepted by the Iron Dome over southern #Israel moments ago. #IsraelUnderFire #IsraelUnderAttack,” one Twitter account tweeted.
In another video, two Israeli reporters stand in front of an Iron Dome missile battery and are surprised when the system was set off by incoming rocket fire.
The IDF tweeted, “In response to 200+ rockets fired from Gaza toward Israel, we killed 15 Hamas terrorists and struck 130 Hamas & Islamic Jihad terror targets in Gaza overnight, incl.: 2 attack tunnels, A Hamas military intel facility, Weapons manufacturing and storage sites.”
The IDF has launched counterattacks countering multiple Hamas rocket sites.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “I have just finished at the Southern Command assessing the situation with the Minister of Defense, the Chief of Staff and the Commander-in-Chief of the Southern Command. We are in the midst of a campaign. Since yesterday, the IDF has attacked hundreds of attacks on Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza.”
Netanyahu further stated that Israeli strikes will increase in speed and intensity. “Hamas will receive blows here that it did not expect.”
Netanyahu asked for Israeli civilians to comply with safety protocols and have patience.
“I know that this also involves patience and a certain sacrifice on your part, you citizens of Israel,” he said. “Unfortunately, two of our civilians were killed. I ask all of you to obey the instructions, to strictly observe the instructions of the Home Front Command, it saves lives. We have another way to do it, we will do it together responsibly, with full backing for the attacks that the IDF is attacking and will attack.”