Gaza Strip, Israeli aircraft attacked targets throughout the Gaza Strip on Thursday night, unleashing more than 25 strikes in swift succession according to Reuters witnesses. The aerial bombardment set off earth-shaking thuds and fireballs in the dark sky and were met with screeches of Palestinian rocket fire launched from the outskirts of Gaza City towards southern Israel.
The airstrikes marked an escalation of two days of reciprocal attacks between the Palestinian militant Hamas group ensconced in the coastal enclave and the Israeli military, which killed a top Islamist leader on Wednesday.
One of the sites targeted was an electricity generator that fed the house of Hamas’s prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh. It was unclear whether he was at home at the time.
Israeli aircraft also bombed a police station in central Gaza and tunnels on Gaza’s border with Egypt through which basic civilian goods and arms destined for militant groups pass into the Strip, which is under a tight blockade by Israel and Egypt.
Two rockets fired from the Gaza Strip targeted Tel Aviv on Thursday in the first attack on Israel’s commercial capital in 20 years, raising the stakes in a showdown between Israel and the Palestinians that is moving towards all-out war.