Israel’s Iron Dome Missile Defence system has intercepted at least six rockets fired into the country from the Gaza Strip since U.S. President Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on 6th December. Some 15 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israel in the last nine days.
According to Israeli officials, five of the rockets landed in Israel, while at least six were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome and the rest landed inside Gaza. On 8th December, a rocket fired from Gaza landed in the courtyard of a kindergarten in the southern Israeli town of Sderot.
In response to the increased rocket fire, Israel has launched air strikes on Hamas targets in Gaza in recent days. Israel holds Hamas responsible for any activity emanating out of Gaza, as de facto rulers of the territory.
The Hamas terror group called for a new uprising against Israel, with leader Ismail Haniyeh calling for the launch of “an intifada in the face of the Zionist enemy” following President Trump’s announcement. Haniyeh called on Palestinian Authority President Abbas to withdraw from peace-making with Israel and for Arabs to boycott the Trump administration.
On Sunday, Israel destroyed a Hamas terror tunnel which had been built hundreds of metres inside Israeli territory from the southern Gaza Strip.
A £420 million underground barrier being constructed by Israel along the Gaza border helped the army find the tunnel, and a senior Israeli army official said that “there are probably more tunnels that we will find and destroy”.
He added: “[The barrier] will bring good tidings in another two years, and until then, there will be an interim period during which the barrier is going to cut across all the tunnels that exist, if they exist, in the area of the border communities”.
According to senior military and defence officials, Hamas has fully restored its military strength to levels before the 2014 Operation Protective Edge conflict in Gaza, including its rocket arsenal, military infrastructure and attack tunnels.
Several attack tunnels from Gaza infiltrating Israeli territory have been found and destroyed in the last year, and Hamas has said that such tunnels are “only a drop in a sea of moves” it is preparing against Israel.