Fighting in Israel closes down US embassy in area

Recent violence in the Gaza Strip between Israeli forces and Hamas militants, who are in control of Gaza, have resulted in the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to close down for Thursday.

The embassy website, which posted the closing,  cites the “current security situation” as their reason for closing, but also says, “emergency cases will be considered on a case by case basis.”

Due to the rocket firing over the past few days, the embassy has operated at minimum staffing levels in order to keep staff members safe.  One rocket reportedly hit a house in Jerusalem, resulting in an explosion but no casualties.

Over 300 rockets have been fired into Israel since the attacks began two days ago, but these attacks have resulted in no fatalities or serious injuries according to Businessweek.  Storefronts, groceries, and bakeries have been hit and various buildings have been damaged.

Many of the rockets have been pointed in the direction of Dimona which is thought to house an Israeli nuclear facility.  The Israeli government has not confirmed or denied these reports.

The Israeli Defense Forces have launched a full-fledged military operation in order to stop further attacks from Hamas militants on Israel.

As compared to the 300 ineffective rockets fired into Israel, the IDF has struck almost 600 of their intended targets in the Gaza Strip.  These targets have included rocket launchers, tunnels used by Hamas militants, command centers, and training camps.

According to RT, Israel’s strikes have also resulted in the deaths of at least 22 people, including eight children.

Since the attacks began, Israel has been mobilizing about 40,000 military reservists in preparation for a further push to take back the Gaza Strip from Hamas.

“Despite the fact it will be hard, complicated and costly,” Israeli intelligence minister,Yuval Steinitz, told Israel Radio, “we will have to take over Gaza temporarily, for a few weeks, to cut off the strengthening of this terror army.”