Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) shakes hands with soldiers October 15, 2013 in the Israeli-occupied territory of Golan Heights. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) shakes hands with soldiers October 15, 2013 in the Israeli-occupied territory of Golan Heights. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

Tensions between Israel and Gaza reached a boiling point on Monday after a barrage of rockets was fired from the Palestinian territory into the country’s south and Jerusalem. In response, Israel launched retaliatory fire, striking Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets.

Some 5,000 reserve troops have been mobilised in southern Israel as cross-border hostilities with the Gaza Strip have intensified.

Gaza fired hundreds of rockets into Israel on Monday, just hours after the radical group Hamas gave an ultimatum to Israel to withdraw soldiers from the areas of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. In response, Israel conducted a series of airstrikes against Hamas and Islamic Jihad facilities.

The rocket fire comes amid a spike in tensions following an Israeli court ruling to evict several Palestinian families from Jerusalem. On Monday, Palestinians clashed with security forces just as the nation celebrated Jerusalem Day, commemorating Israel’s takeover of the Old City in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War.

President Rivlin Tells EU Envoys That Israel Will Not Tolerate Violence From Palestine

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told ambassadors of the EU member states during a briefing that his country would not tolerate violence from Palestine.

On Monday, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement calling on the international community to condemn the recent rocket fire launched from the Gaza Strip and “Palestinian terrorism targeting Israeli citizens in the strongest manner”, as well as to support Israel’s right of self-defence.

“We will always protect and preserve freedom of religion and of worship, but we will not allow violence and disruption that threaten the safety of all Jerusalemites – Jews, Christians and Muslims alike”, Rivlin said, as quoted by his press office.

Commenting on the rocket attack, the president said that no country in the world would allow such a situation.

“We will never accept this reality. We will protect our citizens by all necessary means”, Rivlin added.