Amid the air strikes and rocket attacks – raging again now that the latest Gaza truce is over – a war of words has broken out between leaders of Israel and Hamas.
An Israeli air raid on Gaza City did not succeed in killing Mohammed Deif, the military chief of Hamas, the group’s armed wing has said although the strike did claim the lives of his wife and infant child.
In a televised statement, a Hamas spokesman also warned of further Hamas rocket attacks on Israel’s strategic interests, including
Ben-Gurion International Airport, east of Tel Aviv, from early on Thursday morning.
It has already been targeted by Hamas since Israel launched its offensive on July 8, with the stated aim of stopping rocket fire from Gaza.
As officials there reported more than 20 Palestinian deaths since hostilities resumed on Tuesday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Operation Protective Edge would continue.
And at a news conference in Tel Aviv, he compared Hamas Islamists to Islamic State militants operating in Iraq and Syria, calling them “branches of the same tree”.
Rockets continue to be fired at Israel on Wednesday although there were no new casualties.
Sixty four Israeli soldiers and three civilians in Israel have died in this conflict. Palestinian officials says more than 2,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Gaza.