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Tit-For-Tat Violence Escalates In Gaza

Israel says it launched overnight airstrikes at 50 Hamas sites in Gaza. Palestinian officials say children were among the 22 people wounded.
Posted at 8:50 AM, Jul 08, 2014

​Israel and Hamas continue to trade fire across the Gaza Strip — with neither side backing down. (Via Getty Images

The Palestinian militant group claimed responsibility for having shot some 100 rockets across the border. (Via RT

This was Israel’s response. Video released by the army shows Israel’s targeted air strikes and the country’s sophisticated Iron Dome defense system intercepting dozens of missiles. (Via Israeli Defense Forces)

Israel has picked up its air campaign in the past few days. These latest airstrikes hit a reported 50 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, including several homes. Palestinian officials say seven children and three women were among the 22 wounded in the strikes. (Via Euronews

Israel says it’s been left with no alternative but to launch an open-ended military offensive on Gaza. Here’s how an IDF spokesman put it to the BBC.  

PETER LERNER: “We were voicing our concerns last week and we made them clear to everybody, especially Hamas that what we want to do is deescalate the situation. And what response did we receive? We received a response in the form of over 80 rockets.”

Those rockets, according to Hamas, were a “natural reaction to the Israeli crimes against our people.” (Via Getty Images

Tensions are high following the recent kidnappings and killings of three Israeli teens and one Palestinian. (Via The Guardian, Time)

Their deaths sparked riots on both sides and calls for retaliation. (Via Ynet)

The vengeful climate inspired President Obama to pen an op-ed in Israeli paper  Haaretz, urging both sides to exercise restraint. But so far, the escalation shows no sign of slowing.

FAREED ZAKARIA: "It's difficult to see how this stops. At what point does one of the sides say, 'You know what? Let's have a moment where we make a preemptive concession, we do some kind of peace talks.'" (Via CNN

The last time the Gaza Strip saw such a serious flare-up, back in November 2012, Egypt stepped in to negotiate a truce between Hamas and Israel. (Via ABC

This latest round of tensions have shattered that cease-fire, but Egyptian mediators are again working to get both sides to the negotiating table. Though it's worth noting, this current government in Egypt is said have a poor relationship with the militant group.