What will happen to the Palestinians

Missile alert in Tel Aviv

"We will not tolerate attacks on our territory, our capital, our citizens or our soldiers," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. "Those who attack us will pay a heavy price," said the prime minister, referring to Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The radical Islamic Hamas has crossed a "red line". Netanyahu later announced even tougher attacks: The Palestinian organization Hamas would "receive blows that it has not yet expected".

New escalation level: Alarm in Tel Aviv

A rocket alarm was triggered in Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening. Several explosions could be heard in the city center. The Israeli army had previously destroyed a building containing offices of members of the Hamas Politburo and spokesmen for the Islamist Palestinian organization in the Gaza Strip. The residents of the building were warned of the attack by the Israeli forces and asked to leave the house, eyewitnesses reported. A Hamas spokesman had previously threatened a "hard" rocket attack on Tel Aviv if the "Hanadi Tower" were destroyed. According to its own information, Hamas fired 130 rockets at the Israeli city.

Smoke over the collapsing Hanadi Tower in Gaza

According to military information, Palestinians have fired hundreds of rockets at Israel since Monday - including those aimed at Jerusalem. Dozens of them were intercepted by the "iron dome" missile defense system, and others were thrown into uninhabited areas, according to the Israeli army. A residential building was hit in the city of Ashkelon. At least two Israeli citizens died in Ashkelon from rocket fire, and six people were injured, according to rescue workers.

Rescue workers look after an Israeli who was injured in the attack in Ashkelon

At least 26 people, including children, were killed in retaliatory attacks on targets in the Gaza Strip, according to the authorities there. According to Hamas, one of its commanders is also among the dead.

The Israeli side reported that 15 members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad had been killed as things stand. The attacks were carried out with fighter planes and drones. Facilities for the production of missiles, storage and training facilities as well as military positions were shot at. In addition, two tunnels were attacked that had been completed at different distances.

Serious damage also to the buildings of the Al-Shati refugee camp in the Gaza Strip

According to army spokesman Jonathan Conricus, a total of 130 military targets were attacked. "We are in the early stages of our response against military targets in the Gaza Strip," said Conricus. "We are ready for an escalation." Defense Minister Benny Gantz has since approved the mobilization of 5,000 reservists. According to the Gantz office, the additional forces will be assigned to the southern regional command of the armed forces, among other things.

Israeli Arabs also in an uproar

In the wake of the recent escalation between Israel and the Palestinians, there were also violent confrontations in large parts of Israel. Numerous violent demonstrations by Israeli Arabs developed, in which stones were thrown at police officers, particularly in towns in the north and south. Several vehicles were set on fire. TV reporters compared the incidents to the second Palestinian uprising (Intifada) two decades ago.

In the city of Lod, a 25-year-old Arab was fatally wounded by gunfire during the unrest. A 34-year-old was then arrested. According to media reports, the suspect is a Jewish resident. Dozens of people were arrested during the nationwide riot, police said.

"Pointless New Escalation"

UN General Secretary António Guterres warned of a spiral of escalation, condemned the launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip "in the strongest possible way" and called on Israelis and Palestinians to exercise "maximum restraint". According to diplomats, a meeting of the United Nations Security Council ended without a joint statement due to US resistance.

A spokesman for EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell emphasized in Brussels: "The launching of rockets from the Gaza Strip at the civilian population in Israel is completely inadmissible." At the same time, he called for an immediate stop to the violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem.

Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas tweeted: "Rocket fire on the Israeli civilian population cannot be justified by anything - and certainly not a contribution to the solution of the conflict, but a senseless new escalation. All sides have a duty to prevent further civilian casualties." The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken made a similar statement.

Ambassador Issacharoff: We tried to relax

Israel's ambassador to Germany, Jeremy Issacharoff, explained in an interview with Deutsche Welle that Israel had been in talks with international partners for days to try to de-escalate the situation.

"We have spoken to the highest levels of government around the world, and I have spoken to my counterparts in Germany to ask the Palestinians, the Jordanians, to do everything possible to ensure that this conflict ends and that calm returns," said Issacharoff. At the same time, it was not evident that Hamas or the Palestinian Authority had taken the same steps to defuse the escalation that was emerging. "

Israel ignored the ultimatum

East Jerusalem has been the scene of violent clashes between Israeli security forces and Palestinians since Friday. The trigger was the threat of eviction from the houses of Palestinian families in the Sheikh Jarrah district. The land on which they live is claimed by Jewish settlers. Serious clashes occurred again on Monday, in which, according to media reports, more than 300 people were injured.

Riots on the Temple Mount: Israeli police used stun grenades against stone-throwing Palestinians

Hamas had issued an ultimatum demanding the withdrawal of all Israeli police officers and settlers from the Temple Mount and from Sheikh Jarrah. When Israel did not comply, the massive rocket fire began shortly after 6 p.m. local time on Monday. In addition to Hamas, the Islamic Jihad group also claimed responsibility for the attacks.

"Indivisible" Jerusalem

The Temple Mount with the Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aksa Mosque is of outstanding importance for both Jews and Muslims. It is the third holiest site in Islam. At the same time there used to be two Jewish temples, the last of which was destroyed by the Romans in 70. The Western Wall is a remnant of that ruined temple and the holiest place for the Jews.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the central issues in the Middle East conflict. Israel claims Jerusalem as "the eternal and indivisible capital" for itself. For their part, the Palestinians are sticking to their claim to East Jerusalem as their capital.

sti / wa / qu (afp, dpa, ap, rtr)