In this photo provided by an unidentified source, a missile strike hit an IDF armored personnel carrier and other military vehicles, during a raid against tunnels used by Hamas militants in Gaza, Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2023. (AP Photo/Ammar Awad)


Israel’s military said Monday it struck two tunnels used by Palestinian militant groups during its ongoing conflict in Gaza. The strikes came just hours before President Joe Biden addressed the United Nations General Assembly.

The first attack targeted a tunnel network that was being used by Hamas, which controls much of Gaza Strip and fired missiles at nearby villages before launching another barrage overnight, the army said in response to Reuters’ request for comment.

The second hit near a school in eastern Jerusalem and wounded four people, including two children, who were taken to hospital. One was still hospitalized, but the army said all other victims are stable.

Here’s what we know:

The Tunnel Attack

The latest attacks come one day after the army shot down multiple rockets from Gaza into Israel. Two of the three rockets struck an outpost that houses troops in northern Gaza, wounding five soldiers and forcing them to flee, the defense minister’s office said. But no injuries were reported from the third rocket or debris from the fourth rocket, according to the statement.

Israelis living under the threat of renewed violence have long been concerned about their safety. That fear is now heightened as Iran is reportedly mulling providing weapons for the Palestinians.

The Pentagon has repeatedly warned against sending weapons to Gaza — and some senior figures in the Trump administration have said any such move would be considered provocative if carried out. However, recent talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia have helped calm those fears.

The new strikes came just hours after a visit by President Joe Biden to New York City, where he told lawmakers about his support for keeping Americans safe on the streets and in schools. He also expressed concern about reports of Iranian involvement in supporting armed Palestinian guerillas.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said the meeting was focused on how to mitigate the risks posed by increased hostilities. A senior administration official said they discussed ways to prevent escalation as well as ways to respond to actions taken against Israelis.


“The goal is to maintain the credibility of our position while continuing operations within the bounds of international law,” Sullivan said. “The United States will not allow the use of force or intimidation by countries against its neighbors in any way.”

The United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan also have provided humanitarian assistance to Gaza since the beginning of the year, but none have yet made overtures toward restarting civilian flights. Egypt, which is home to hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Israeli-occupied West Bank, has also kept quiet about its intention to lift an economic blockade on Gaza.

The American government has also issued a series of warnings about possible repercussions should Israel engage in further hostilities in Gaza. While most of these warnings have failed to stop the war, many have raised concerns among the Jewish community that a repeat outbreak would result in a major blow to Israel’s security.

The White House and State Department have emphasized that Israel’s moves are in line with existing UN resolutions, including resolutions passed in 2002 that called for both sides to cease hostilities, respect territorial integrity and refrain from escalatory actions.

On Thursday, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Schenker, delivered remarks in Tel Aviv to mark the anniversary of Israel’s founding. “The past year has been challenging, and I think that is why the importance of stability and peace cannot be overstated,” Schenker said.

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