Hamas said it would start a new barrage of rockets on Israeli territory if it does not remove its forces from the Temple Mount by 2 a.m. The ultimatum late Monday night comes after an hourslong rocket barrage on southern Israel in which over 150 rockets flew into Israeli territory; rockets continued to be fired even after the ultimatum was issued.
Seven rockets were fired on Jerusalem earlier Monday evening as tens of thousands of Jewish Israelis gathered in the city for Jerusalem Day celebrations marking the reunification of the city 54 years ago.
A rocket scored a direct hit on at least one home in southern Israel on Monday night, but there were no injuries reported.
The Israel Defense Forces launched a series of retaliatory air strikes on Gaza. The Gaza Health Ministry said 20 Palestinians, including 9 minors, were killed in the strikes.
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that the Security Cabinet had authorized “a number of offensive strikes that will hit Hamas and other terrorist organizations hard. These are strides that will ensure Israel’s security and restore long-term and complete quiet.”
The IDF announced that the current strikes against Hamas in Gaza would be known as “Operation Guardian of the Walls.”