This past week rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory continued to escalate. It began in the second half of June during Operation Brothers’ Keeper, conducted to find the three abducted Israeli youths (who were eventually found, murdered by their abductors).
The IDF responded with air strikes, its targets including a tunnel which operatives of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military-terrorist wing, planned to use for a terrorist attack in Israeli territory. Hamas and the other terrorist organizations responded by an additional increase in their rocket fire. Israel’s Security Cabinet sanctioned the initiation of Operation Protective Edge. On the night of July 7, 2014, the Israeli Air Force attacked approximately 50 terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip. On July 8 there was a greater escalation.
On July 2, 2014, Muhammad Abu Khdeir, a 16 year-old Palestinian boy from the Shuafat neighborhood north of Jerusalem, was abducted and brutally murdered. The Israel Police Force detained six Israeli youths on suspicion of murder. Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu expressed outrage at the murder and said that Israel had acted immediately to apprehend the murderers and they would be brought to trial. After the murder riots broke out in east Jerusalem and to other focal points in Israel, carried out by Israeli Arabs.