Middle East violence intensifies
Violence in the Middle East intensified on Wednesday, with Israel’s military announcing that it had hit more than 150 sites linked to the Islamic militant group Hamas.
Israel has been involved in the two-day offensive aimed at stopping rocket attacks coming from the Gaza Strip. According to the Associated Press, Israel has attacked more than 560 sites in Gaza and at least 41 people have been killed since Tuesday. Meanwhile, the Arab League is calling for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to help end the violence.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that his country would not allow such attacks and that he has ordered the country’s military to “significantly broaden its operation against Hamas terrorists and against the other terrorist groups inside Gaza.” That includes authorizing the dispersal of up to 40,000 army reservists for a potential ground invasion. Netanyahu called for patience “because this operation could take time.”
Tensions in the area have been escalating following last month’s kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in the West Bank. Israel has accused Hamas of being behind the killings and in response launched a crackdown and arrested hundreds of people in the search for two suspects. Hamas, which controls Gaza, responded with rocket fire.
Adding to the tensions was the discovery a Palestinian teen who was found beaten and burned to death in an apparent act of retaliation by Israeli extremists.