ASHKELON, Israel – Israelis living near the boundary with the Gaza Strip demanded on Tuesday a clear response from the Israeli government to end the launch of 400 rockets and mortar strikes from the enclave in the last 24 hours.
Israeli authorities confirmed to EFE that a Palestinian civilian, 48, had died early Tuesday in the Israeli city of Ashkelon due to the fire from Palestinian militias into Israel.
“We are not afraid, we are used to such situations, but we must not live like this and what we have to do is to end this once and for all,” said Amram, a resident from Ashkelon.
Amran stressed that Gaza must be restored to order to end the threat of the Islamist movement Hamas, which governs the strip.
Biton Maimon, a retired ambulance driver who lives in Ashkelon near the destroyed home were the Palestinian died, told EFE that he had heard the explosion and rushed to help, noting that 16 homes were destroyed in the town.
The Israeli army radio reported that a total of 16 families – 15 from Ashkelon and one from Netivot – were relocated due to damage caused to their buildings, while schools and universities located less than 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Gaza have been closed.
Under the orders of the army, shops and locations where more than 20 people meet are now also closed.
The flare-up of violence has been triggered by an Israeli military operation near the Gazan town of Khan Younis Sunday night.
In total, 14 Palestinian militants, an Israeli soldier and the Palestinian civilian in Israel have been killed since Sunday night in the current wave of violence, which may portend a coming war in the strip.
Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations are still trying to restore calm between the Israeli military and Gaza militias.
Spokesman for the Islamist movement Hamas, Abu Oneida, blamed Israel for the deterioration of the situation, while, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman are expected to meet with the state security cabinet to assess the situation, a ministry official told EFE.