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Escalating violence in Gaza: Israeli strikes kill 17 Palestinian civilians, sparks rocket response

In the wake of escalating tensions and violence, Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip have launched over 60 rockets towards Israel, as reported by BBC News. This fierce response was triggered by Israeli military air strikes on Gaza. With most of the Palestinians rockets being intercepted, no severe injuries have been reported in Israel.

The events follow the previous day’s and today’s deadly Israeli air strikes in Gaza, which at the time of reporting has claimed at least the lives of 20 people, including three Islamic Jihad leaders.

Palestinian health officials said eight women and children were among the dead. Another 22 people were injured.

The Israeli military has claimed that the strikes targeted Islamic Jihad leaders implicated in recent attacks on Israeli civilians. In response, the Islamic Jihad has vowed revenge, and it is anticipated that there will be further rocket fire from Gaza-based militants into Israel.

However, the full extent of any further escalation is in part dependent on whether Hamas, the group in control of Gaza, decides to respond in force.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has issued a stern warning to the militants, stating that any escalation will be met with a “crushing response”.

The Israeli strikes have caused a wave of panic among Gaza residents, who were awoken in the early hours of Tuesday by the assault of 40 warplanes and helicopters. Several homes were hit, leaving two apartments completely destroyed and others damaged.

Among the casualties were four children and four women, with many others, including women and children, currently in a critical condition in the hospital.

Dr. Iain Overton from Action on Armed Violence (AOAV) has condemned this escalation of violence. He stated, “These actions are profoundly distressing. The increasing reliance on explosive weapons in populated areas results in the loss of innocent lives and is a clear violation of international humanitarian law. Dialogue and peaceful negotiation are the only viable options to resolve this crisis. We strongly urge all parties involved to cease the use of explosive weapons in populated areas and to prioritize peace and dialogue above all else.”