Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza launched hundreds of rockets into Israeli civilian areas on Wednesday as Egypt continues mediating ceasefire discussions, officials say.
At least some of the more than 460 rockets launched Wednesday were fired from civilian areas in Gaza, according to the Israeli government.
Many Israelis in Jerusalem tell Just the News that they feel safe even as militants threaten to escalate the violence.
Joshua, an Israeli who asked to be identified by his first name, said he is “not really at all” nervous that rockets could target Jerusalem next. “Most of the rockets are shot down before they get here. … It’s kind of just a normal part of life here,” he said. “I don’t feel like it’s a threat.”
Fay, who moved to Israel from New Jersey and asked to be identified by her first name, said she feels “safer than I did walking in America actually.”
“Unfortunately, in the south of Israel, they don’t feel safe,” Jerusalem resident Benjy Singer says. “But, generally, Jews in Israel, we feel safer. At the moment things aren’t so good. But again, there are ups and downs. Living in Israel is all about being able to cope the ups and downs security-wise, and please God things will get back to normal soon.”
Not everyone on the street was so confident about the security situation.
Resident Susan Zriean, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces, said she is nervous about rocket fire targeting Jerusalem and that she and her friends have been “tense” lately.
“We are changing the way…we walk, where we go,” she said. “The situation is very serious.”
The Gaza Health Ministry said 21 citizens were killed and 64 were injured since the military operation began.
The jihadist group began its rocket barrage 36 hours after the Israeli military killed more than a dozen people, including three Islamic Jihad leaders and some civilians, in an airstrike in Gaza.
Hamas, a U.S. State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization that has ruled over the Gaza strip since 2007, has appeared to stay out of the latest conflict.
“We don’t see that Hamas is involved in the fighting in Gaza at the moment. I am putting aside their declarations. We will react to actions and we don’t see Hamas actions at the moment,” IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said, according to Axios.
Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen TV reports that sources with the jihadist militants said they would not agree to a ceasefire until Israel commits to stopping “assassinations” of its members.
However, Israel is continuing to target militant groups in the Gaza Strip, and Wednesday the country said it attacked the weapons production site and the headquarters of the rocket unit of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
“If missiles landed in Washington, the Americans would ensure that wouldn’t happen again. It’s all to do with ensuring Israel’s security, not retaliating,” Singer said.