Hamas Threatens To Escalate Attacks As Gaza Militants Trade Fire With Israel [View all]
By Associated Press,
JERUSALEM — Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers threatened to escalate fighting with Israel on Saturday after airstrikes killed several gunmen in the coastal territory, while Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel wounded one person and damaged an elementary school in the country’s south.
There are periodic exchanges of strikes between Gaza and Israel but this flare-up is the most serious in months. It started with an attack by a little known al-Qaida-inspired Palestinian militant group but has extended to drag in Hamas.
Hamas has largely stayed out of direct confrontation with Israel since a war more than three years ago although other factions have launched cross-border attacks.
An Israeli military spokesman said Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz convened “an urgent meeting” to discuss ways of dealing with a week of persistent Palestinian attacks. Gaza militants fired over 30 rockets and mortar shells on Saturday alone, bringing the week’s rocket tally to more than 150, according to the Israeli military.