Hamas terrorists in Gaza launched a massive series of rocket barrages into Israel on Tuesday, with some observers saying it is the largest wave since Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault.
The barrage centered on Tel Aviv, but rocket sirens blared across more than a dozen cities, and maps of rocket alerts displayed a sea of red warning signs in central Israel.
Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israel since launching its unprecedented assault on Oct. 7. Israel has responded in kind, destroying thousands of Hamas targets in Gaza with airstrikes.
Nevertheless, the Tuesday barrage from Hamas marks a spike in its aggression over the past 18 days of war, with the Jerusalem Post reporting that it is the single largest attack since the war began, next to the Hamas violence on Oct. 7.
At least five Israelis were wounded in Tuesday’s barrage, according to the Post. The injuries took place in separate incidents in Holon, Tel Aviv, Kfar Saba, Be’er Yaakov and Yavne.
The Israeli military remains poised for a ground invasion of Gaza at any moment, though plans for such an operation have been delayed. IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Herzi Halevi told reporters that Israel is “ready to invade,” but nevertheless explained the delay.
“At this stage, there are tactical and strategic factors which are allowing us more time to improve and to exploit every minute to be more ready,” he said. “With every minute that passes for the other side, we are attacking the enemy more, killing his fighters, killing his commanders, destroying his infrastructure, and collecting more intelligence for the next moves.”
Meanwhile, President Biden’s administration has also urged Israel to delay the invasion in hopes of providing more time to negotiate the release of hostages.
Hamas has so far released four of the roughly 200 hostages it took in the Oct. 7 attack. The terror groups released two Americans and two Israelis, but there have been no further updates on negotiations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to “destroy” Hamas, and he has the full support of the U.S. and other Western nations.
French President Emmanuel Macron met with Netanyahu on Tuesday and said the campaign against Hamas must be “without mercy, but not without rules.”