GAZA – Tension is rising across the Middle East as Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian group which controls the Gaza Strip, continue to exchange fire amid the worst outbreak of violence since the Israeli assault on the territory nearly four years ago.
Three Israelis died in the northern town of Kiryat Malachi on Thursday after a rocket fired from Gaza hit an apartment building.
As the Israeli military launched a massive operation in Gaza, The Palestinian Islamic Jihad said that it had fired a rocket that hit Israel’s commercial centre Tel Aviv.
At least 15 Palestinians, including two children, have been killed in Israeli attacks since Wednesday which began with an aerial attack that killed Ahmad Jabari, Hamas military commander who was accused by Israel for overseeing attacks against Jewish state.
On the second day of an assault Israel said might last many days and culminate in a ground attack, its fighter jets bombed targets in and around Gaza City, where tall buildings trembled.
The sudden conflict pours oil on the fire of a Middle East already tense with two years of revolution and an out-of-control civil war in Syria.
Israeli authorities said more than 250 rockets and mortars were fired by Hamas and other armed groups from Gaza as of Thursday afternoon, and its Iron Dome interceptor missile system had shot down dozens of the projectiles.
On either side of the frontier, people fled streets for cover.
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