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Netanyahu orders ‘massive strikes’: IDF mass troops along Gaza border

Gaza, May5 : Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered “massive attacks against terrorist elements” in Gaza after a two-day escalation by Gaza militants that fired 250 rockets towards Israel that killed nine Palestinians and three Israelis. However,Israelis forces mass on Gaza border, stoking fears of ground invasion.

Netanyahu said strikes will continue after militants in the coastal enclave fired approximately 600 rockets towards Israel.

Netanyahu said: “Hamas bears the responsibility not only for its own attacks and actions but also for the actions of Islamic Jihad, and it is paying a very heavy price for this.”
Israel has so far responded with airstrikes on 260 targets across Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

The escalation began Saturday morning with about 50 rockets fired towards Israel within the course of an hour and continued late into the evening.

The IDF said that its Iron Dome aerial defence system had intercepted dozens of the incoming rockets.

In response to the rockets, the IDF said it has carried out airstrikes on about 130 militant targets in Gaza, including a tunnel, rocket launcher sites and other military compounds used by Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
About 70 Palestinians were wounded in the attacks, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Israel on Sunday announced that it was closing the two border crossings between the country and Gaza, as well as closing the Gaza fishing zone.
Meanwhile, Turkey has condemned a strike on a building housing the office of its state-run Anadolu news agency, a building which Israel says is also used by Hamas’s military intelligence.

A spokesman for Turkey’s President said: “We urge all governments that claim to defend press freedom, including @USEmbassyTurkey to join us in condemning the Israeli government.”

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