TEL AVIV—Fighting between Israel and Hamas intensified
on Tuesday, with the Palestinian militant group launching
barrages of rockets from Gaza and Israel responding with
deadly airstrikes as they prepared for a wider conflict.
The rocket fire reached central Israel and the coastal city
of Tel Aviv on Tuesday evening as sirens blared and loud
booms could be heard overheard. Hamas, which rules
Gaza, said it launched 130 missiles at Tel Aviv and its
surroundings in response to what it said was Israel’s
targeting of civilian buildings. Israel’s military said it
targeted a Hamas commander who lived in a high rise.
Israeli authorities stopped air traffic to and from Ben
Gurion Airport amid the volley of rockets over central
Israel, an airport spokesman said.
The Palestinian health ministry said Israeli strikes in
response to the barrages that began Monday evening killed
at least 28 people, including 10 children. Israel’s military
said it was investigating reports that children were killed
and that some casualties may be the result of rockets sent
from Gaza that exploded there before reaching Israel.
In a speech recorded in Qatar and aired on a Hamas-
affiliated television channel, a senior Hamas political
leader, Ismail Haniya, struck a triumphant tone.
“We have managed to create an equation linking the
Jerusalem and Gaza fronts,” he said. “They are
inseparable. Jerusalem and Gaza are one.”
Mr. Haniya said he had received calls from Egypt, Qatar
and the United Nations about working toward a cease-fire,
but argued that Israel had set off the violence and should
be held responsible for ending it.