Israel has launched a military offensive against Hamas in Gaza, striking more than 50 sites overnight in response to rocket fire from militants in Gaza, including nearly 100 projectiles fired at Israel on Monday alone. At least 11 Palestinians were reportedly killed in the overnight attacks.
‘Operation Protective Edge’—which the Israeli military said is an attempt to “retrieve stability to the residents of southern Israel, eliminate Hamas’ capabilities and destroy terror infrastructure operating against the State of Israel and its civilians”—is the latest and most concrete development in a series of escalating tensions following the murders of three Israeli teens and subsequent murder of a Palestinian teen.
According to JTA, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon braced the public for what could end up being a lengthy military operation.
Yaalon called for patience at the start of the operation. “We are prepared for a campaign against Hamas, which will not end within days. Hamas is leading the current confrontation to a place in which it seeks to exact a heavy price from our home front,” he said Tuesday morning.
The Israel cabinet has reportedly voted to call up 40,000 IDF reservists, which means the situation is likely only going to escalate further.
Stephanie Butnick is deputy editor of Tablet Magazine and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.