Israeli forces and Hamas militants exchanged fire overnight on Wednesday, August 8, and into the early hours of the next morning.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported missiles from Gaza hit the Israeli border areas of Sderot, Hof Ashkelon and Eshkol. An IDF spokesperson tweeted that roughly 70 missiles were fired, mostly into open areas, of which 11 were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. At least two Israelis were injured by glass shards, medical organization Magen David Adom reported.
The IDF confirmed they responded by firing at 140 targets in Gaza. Palestinian media reported airstrikes continued through the night into Thursday morning. Schools were closed on Thursday morning in Gaza, as warning sirens continued to blare.
At least three Palestinians were reportedly killed by the strikes, including 23-year-old Inas Khamash, who was pregnant at the time, and her one-year-old daughter, Bayan Khamash. At least 12 others were injured, local news reported. This video, taken on the morning of August 9, shows the home of the Khamash family in Gaza.
As Israeli forces responded, an emergency meeting was being held by Israel’s security cabinet in the early hours of Thursday, August 9.
Wednesday’s escalation comes amid attempts by Egypt and the United Nations to broker a five-year ceasefire between Israel and militant group Hamas, Turkey’s Anadolu news agency reported. Credit: Hassan Eslayeh via Storyful