As Gaza militants started fighting a salvo of rockets at southern Israel on Monday evening, Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed that the Jewish country would not take this lying down.
The latest fighting continues the age-old conflict in contested Jerusalem, home to Jewish, Muslin and Christian shrines. Israeli aircraft had stepped up operations and assassinated several Hamas military commanders in an effort to force a cease fire. Meanwhile Hamas militants had attacked Israeli civilians on busses and in their homes, while Israelis had not resorted to any such. The United Nations had become involved to de-escalate the situation.
Ongoing talks to find a peaceful solution had been interrupted because of the unrest which started during Ramadan.
Netanyahu had said that Israel had always and would continue to allow freedom of worship in Jerusalem, but would not tolerate violent disturbances.