Palestinian militants and Israel armed forces had a heated exchange of rocket fire on Tuesday as the fighting centered around one of the holiest cities in the world for Muslims, Jews, and Christians, which catapulted into a deadly flare-up in a decades-long conflict, according to CBS News.
Both sides have indicated that they would escalate their attack, while the Health Ministry in the Gaza Strip said on Tuesday that at least 26 people were killed by Israeli airstrikes in the territory including nine children.
The Israeli military has stated that it was targeting Hamas militant leaders in retaliation for a steady volley of rockets fired from Gaza at Israel, which is more than 400 and is growing.
The rockets hit homes of Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod on Tuesday afternoon. However, much of the projectile fell short and landed in Gaza. Response officials claim that two women were killed. Other authorities have said that at least 10 people had
been treated for unspecified injuries in Ashkelon and Ashdod, while military officials said that 15 militants were killed in the air and drone strikes in Gaza.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the frequency of the attacks shall be increased.
Confrontations between the Israeli security forces and protesters in Jerusalem have been escalating for weeks. The clashes started at the beginning of Ramadan, almost a month ago, when Israeli police put up barriers to stop people sitting in the Damascus Gate Plaza, a popular gathering area during Ramadan. Young Palestinians protested what they saw as Israeli authorities disrupting their religious and social traditions.
The tensions began to escalate when Israel imposed a 10,000-person limit on prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque and eventually turned away tens of thousands of Palestinians.
Another simmering dispute has also fueled Palestinian anger: An Israeli plan to evict several Palestinian families from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, to allow Jewish settlers to move in.
The protests turned into violence with 30 police officers wounded in the fray around the al-Aqsa Mosque.