Your Wednesday Briefing

Deadly Israel-Gaza violenceThe worst fighting between Israelis and Palestinians in seven years intensified last night, resulting in the deaths of at least 30 Palestinians, including 10 children, and three Israelis. Hundreds more civilians were wounded, according to local officials on both sides.Israeli airstrikes began targeting Hamas offices in apartment buildings in Gaza City, while militants in Gaza fired back at Tel Aviv, Israel’s economic center. In Israel’s Arab neighborhoods, Palestinian citizens of Israel expressed fury at the killings and longstanding complaints of discrimination inside Israel itself. See footage from the scene in Gaza.The Palestinian militants and Israeli military are unevenly matched — the former armed with crude rockets, the latter with fighter jets and a sophisticated antimissile defense system, the Iron Dome. Israeli airstrikes aim for strategic targets in densely populated Gaza, killing civilians even as Israel insists it takes measures to avoid them, while Hamas’s rockets aim for civilian population centers but often miss the mark.Analysis: Leaders on both sides have seized upon the conflict to further their own interests. “It is the story of every previous war between Israel and Hamas,” said Ghassan Khatib, a politics expert in the occupied West Bank. Both governments “come out of it victorious, and the public of Gaza comes out of it as losers.”

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