Bloody Israel-Gaza attacks signal a violent resurgence

Deadly violence between Israel and Gaza escalated Sunday in the most extreme strikes since the last full-blown war between the areas in 2014.

The four Israelis were the first civilians to die since a clash in the summer of 2014 when over 600 rockets were fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip.

As Israel issued counterstrikes on the homes of several Palestinian militant commanders and on individual fighters, the Palestinian death toll rose to 23, according to the New York Times.

Rockets are fired from Gaza towards Israel, in Gaza May 5, 2019.
Mohammed Salem/Reuters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Hamas, a US-designated terrorist group, for the attacks and reportedly ordered “massive attacks” against militant groups in Gaza and arranged for resources to be readied for days of fighting.

The fighting comes at a tense time for Israel, which in the coming weeks is hosting the popular televised music competition Eurovision, which is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors to Tel Aviv.

Tensions have been rising in the past year, as Palestinian protestors have stepped up their actions, sending incendiary balloons and explosive devices to Israel, which has in turn launched deadly strikes against oppositionists along its border.

The Times of Israel reported a Hamas official told Haaretz that the terror group chose ramped up pressure on Israel after a deal for the cessation of Palestinian border protests and device launches fell through.

“For two weeks now, we have warned of escalation because of [Israel’s] procrastination in implementing the understandings reached for calm,” the official said. “In Israel they asked for quiet and they received it, and in the Gaza Strip we did not feel any change for the better, so we decided to return to the harsh steps of popular protest.”

The heightened force also comes amid the international spotlight brought by the popular Eurovision song contest, which is expected to bring scores of visitors.

Officials with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas pledged to “prevent the festival” and they would not allow the competition to go on undisturbed, but officials with Israeli television and Eurovision have said the show’s itinerary will proceed unchanged.

Workers build the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest at Expo Tel Aviv in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, on April 15, 2019. – The Eurovision Song Contest will take place from 14 to 18 May this year.
JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images

The territory also expects to be busy with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Israel’s Memorial and Independence Days, and the first anniversary of the opening of the contentious US Embassy in Jerusalem.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said though “the Israelis have every right to protect the sovereignty of their nation,” he condemned the violence in a Fox News interview on Sunday, and pushed for the groups to adhere to a cease-fire deal.

Read more:

Brunei says it ‘will not enforce gay death penalty after global backlash’

A massive new exhibit is showing the grisly details of Auschwitz, the Nazi’s largest concentration camp, in an effort to combat rising anti-Semitism — here’s what visitors will see

A nurse was denied a London Marathon world record because of ‘outdated’ rules barring her from wearing scrubs


more recommended stories

  • Epstein had foreign passport to protect him from ‘hijackers’: lawyers

    Jeffrey Epstein, the financier recently charged.

  • Elon Musk’s sister runs passionflix video streaming for romance book movies

    Elon Musk may be the most.

  • The best competing Prime Day 2019 sales — Walmart, Target, eBay, & more

    After four years running, Amazon’s retail.

  • How to set up a custom voicemail greeting on a Galaxy S10

    One of the first things you.

  • I always wanted to be a millionaire and it was nothing like I expected

    Hansson at work. via Basecamp Facebook.

  • Apple AirPod Earbuds Deal: Save $14 to $20 on Amazon Prime Day 2019

    Truly wireless earbuds like Apple’s AirPods.

  • APPLY NOW: Insider Inc. is hiring editorial and video fellows and more

    Insider Inc. has a number of.

  • Video shows men in an over-crowded facility yelling “no shower”

    A video taken and posted on.

  • Sharp and McCann show the future of British boxing is fun and flashy

    02 ARENA, LONDON — Red hot.

  • Jeffrey Epstein launched PR campaign after 2008 sex abuse allegations

    Jeffrey Epstein launched a PR campaign.

  • Prime Day 2019 KitchenAid Stand Mixer deals — sale predictions

    There are some things that never.

  • The best vacuum deals we expect to see during Prime Day 2019

    No matter how diligently you clean.

  • Asylum seeker describes baby’s death from poor medical care in ICE custody

    WASHINGTON (AP) — A Guatemalan mother.

  • A new holding center for migrant children opened in rural Texas

    CARRIZO SPRINGS, Texas (AP) — A.

  • Video seems to show Trump embrace staffer who says he forcibly kissed

    President Donald Trump’s attorneys were accused.

  • How to back up photos from an iPhone with iCloud storage

    If you’re someone who loves taking.

  • Famous people who have flown on Jeffrey Epstein’s private plane

    The financier Jeffrey Epstein, the convicted.

  • 9 questions you should ask flight attendants next time you fly

    Getting on a plane is a.

  • DOJ to swap interpreters with videos at immigration hearings

    The Department of Justice is planning.

  • Federal court ruled against bikini baristas at Washington coffee bars

    Women serving coffee at the Hillbilly.

  • Greece election: Conservative party beats left-wing prime minister

    In his concession speech, Mr Tsipras.

  • Photos of US Navy guided missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham

    During the final days of June,.

  • No-deal Brexit: Boris Johnson to be hit by dozens of new Tory rebels

    LONDON — Dozens more Conservative MPs.

  • Turkey is last major Islamic state not to stand up for China’s Muslims

    In recent months, a wave of.

  • PHOTOS: Sophie Turner’s wedding dress with husband Joe Jonas

    Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas had.

  • The winners and losers of the opening days of NBA free agency

    The NBA offseason has been fast.

  • European stocks are jumping as traders bet on loose Fed policy, while US markets break for the Fourth of July

    Ritzau Scanpix Denmark/Reuters US markets were.

  • Megan Rapinoe shuts down critics: ‘I think I’m extremely American’

    Megan Rapinoe has been no stranger.

  • Steve Irwin and son fed the same crocodile 15 years apart

    Steve Irwin’s 15-year-old son Bob is.

  • Serena Williams will wait before giving Meghan Markle parenting advice

    Serena Williams says she will wait.

  • Stocks are dropping on trade-war jitters after Trump threatens another $4 billion in tariffs on EU goods

    Assoicated Press/Alex Brandon US stocks slid.

  • I went to Times Square to see why tourists love it

    Growing up on Long Island, I.