'Wickedness': Israel's confronting Twitter post as Gaza death toll rises

·Assistant News Editor
·3-min read

Israel continues to bombard Gaza with air strikes and Palestinian militants are keeping up cross-border rocket fire as the deadly fighting continued into a second week.

There is no sign of any imminent ceasefire despite international calls to end the violence.

Israel said more than 3450 rockets had been launched at it from Gaza since fighting broke out. The country's sophisticated "iron dome" missile defence system has intercepted a large majority of rocket fire while those in the Palestinian-controlled territory have borne the brunt of the death and destruction. 

Gazan children sitting onto an unexploded missile thrown by Israeli forces in al-Rimal neighbourhood on May 18, 2021.
Gazan children are seen sitting onto an unexploded missile thrown by Israeli forces in al-Rimal neighbourhood on Tuesday. Source: Getty Images

On Tuesday (local time), the official Twitter account of the Israeli state sought to justify its continued shelling despite the rising civilian death toll.

In a string of tweets, it used a wall of rocket emojis to illustrate the rate of rocket fire targeting Israel from the nearby enclave controlled by Hamas militants. 

"Just to give you all some perspective, these are the total amount of rockets shot at Israeli civilians. Each one of these rockets is meant to kill," it said.

"Make no mistake. Every rocket has an address. What would you do if that address was yours?"

Israel's defence force has also been active on Twitter during the escalation of violence since last Monday in a bid to control the online information war.

The Israeli tweet of the rocket emojis drew a strong and bitterly mixed response, with some calling it "audacious" and "wickedness". 

Former Australian Greens senator Scott Ludlam was among those to hit back at the tweet.

"Do one for the number of Palestinian children you've killed and then delete this account," he replied. 

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More rocket fire expected from both Israel and Hamas

Israeli leaders said they were pressing on with an offensive against Hamas and Islamic Jihad, but an Israeli military spokesman acknowledged that with an estimated 12,000 missiles and mortars in the groups' Gaza arsenal, "they still have enough rockets to fire".

Two Thai workers were killed and seven people wounded in a rocket strike on Tuesday (local time) on an Israeli farm just over the Gaza border, police said. Hamas and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

Gaza medical officials say 217 Palestinians have been killed, including 63 children, and more than 1400 wounded since the fighting began on May 10.

Israeli authorities say 12 people have been killed in Israel, including two children.

It put the number of militants it has killed at about 150.

Nearly 450 buildings in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed or badly damaged, including six hospitals and nine primary-care health centres, the United Nations humanitarian agency said.

The current hostilities are the most serious between the militant group and Israel in years, and in a departure from previous Gaza conflicts have helped fuel street violence in Israeli cities between Jews and Arabs.

with Reuters

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