Death toll increases in escalating Israel-Hamas conflict

Hostilities between Israel and Hamas heightened Tuesday night with the most intensive aerial exchange in years, raising the death toll in the ongoing conflict.

Israel launched hundreds of airstrikes into Gaza, while the Islamist group and other Palestinian militants groups targeted Tel Aviv and Beersheba with rocket barrages.

Five Israelis, including three women and a child, were killed by rocket fire Tuesday into early Wednesday.

In Gaza, the death toll rose to 35 Palestinians, including 10 children, according to the Health Ministry.

Several Hamas intelligence leaders were among the dead, according to Israel. Hamas offices and rocket launch sites were also targeted.

In Israel, people ran for shelters or dropped to ground amid sounds of explosions as interceptor missiles streaked into the sky.

A late-night barrage of rockets set off air-raid sirens and explosions across the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu late Tuesday visited the mixed Arab-Jewish town of Lod, where riots broke out after two people were killed in a rocket strike that hit a vehicle.

Netanyahu declared a state of emergency and decried the “anarchy” in the streets that left 12 people injured, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

The fighting from Tuesday into Wednesday between Israel and Hamas was the worst since a 2014 war in Gaza.

With Post wires

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