- Israeli fighter jets launched a collection of airstrikes within the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday.
- Israel stated it focused a “weapons manufacturing facility” for Hamas after intercepting a rocket fired by Palestinian militants.
- Hamas had warned of “Israeli violations in Jerusalem,” however did not take accountability for the rocket assault.
JERUSALEM — Palestinian militants fired a rocket into southern Israel for the primary time in months on Monday, in one other escalation after clashes at a delicate holy web site in Jerusalem, a collection of lethal assaults inside Israel and navy raids throughout the occupied West Financial institution.
Israel stated it intercepted the rocket, and there have been no instant stories of casualties or injury. Israel holds Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers accountable for all such projectiles and normally launches airstrikes of their wake. It was the primary such rocket hearth since New Yr’s Eve.
Early Tuesday, Israeli fighter jets carried out a collection of airstrikes in southern Gaza Strip, concentrating on a “weapons manufacturing web site” for Hamas, the Israeli navy stated. There have been no stories of accidents.
Hours earlier, the chief of the Islamic Jihad militant group, which boasts an arsenal of rockets, had issued a quick, cryptic warning, condemning Israeli “violations” in Jerusalem.
Ziad al-Nakhala, who is predicated outdoors the Palestinian territories, stated threats to tighten an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza imposed after Hamas seized energy 15 years in the past “cannot silence us from what’s occurring in Jerusalem and the occupied West Financial institution.”
Nonetheless, no Palestinian group claimed accountability for the rocket hearth.
Palestinians and Israeli police clashed over the weekend in and across the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem, which has lengthy been an epicenter of Israeli-Palestinian violence. It’s the third holiest web site in Islam and the holiest for Jews, who discuss with it because the Temple Mount as a result of the mosque stands on a hilltop the place the Jewish temples have been positioned in antiquity.
Protests and clashes there this time final yr helped set off an 11-day Gaza battle.
Police stated they have been responding to Palestinian stone-throwing and that they have been dedicated to making sure that Jews, Christians, and Muslims — whose main holidays are converging this yr — might have a good time them safely within the Holy Land. Palestinians view the presence of Israeli police on the web site as a provocation and stated they used extreme power.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stated Monday, forward of the rocket hearth, that Israel has been the goal of a “Hamas-led incitement marketing campaign.”
The newest tensions come through the uncommon confluence of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the week-long Jewish vacation of Passover. Christians are additionally celebrating their holy week main as much as Easter. Tens of 1000’s of tourists have flocked to Jerusalem’s Outdated Metropolis — dwelling to main holy websites for all three faiths — for the primary time for the reason that begin of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jordan and Egypt, which made peace with Israel a long time in the past and coordinate with it on safety issues, have condemned its actions on the mosque. Jordan — which serves as custodian of the location — summoned Israel’s cost d’affaires on Monday in protest.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II mentioned the violence with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, agreeing on “the necessity to cease all unlawful and provocative Israeli measures” there, in response to a press release. Jordan deliberate to convene a gathering of different Arab states on the problem.
Israel has been working to enhance relations with Jordan over the previous yr and has lately normalized relations with different Arab states. However the newest tensions have introduced renewed consideration to the unresolved battle with the Palestinians, which Israel has sought to sideline lately.
The US State Division urged all sides to “train restraint, to keep away from provocative actions and rhetoric, and protect the historic established order” on the holy web site. Spokesman Ned Value stated US officers have been in contact with counterparts throughout the area to attempt to calm tensions.
UN Safety Council scheduled a closed-door assembly on the tensions for Tuesday.
In Israel, an Arab get together that made historical past final yr by becoming a member of the governing coalition suspended its participation on Sunday — a largely symbolic act that nonetheless mirrored the sensitivity of the holy web site, which is on the emotional coronary heart of the century-old battle.
Israel captured the West Financial institution, together with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem — which incorporates the Outdated Metropolis — within the 1967 Mideast battle. The Palestinians search these territories for a future impartial state. Israel annexed east Jerusalem in a transfer not acknowledged internationally and is constructing and increasing Jewish settlements throughout the West Financial institution, which it views because the biblical and historic heartland of the Jewish folks.
The final severe and substantive peace talks collapsed greater than a decade in the past.
The Palestinians have lengthy feared that Israel plans to take over or partition the mosque compound. In current weeks, calls by Jewish extremists to sacrifice animals there have circulated extensively amongst Palestinians on social media, sparking calls to defend the mosque.
Israeli authorities say they haven’t any intention of fixing the established order, and police are implementing a prohibition on animal sacrifices. Israel permits Jews to go to the location however to not pray there. Lately giant numbers of nationalist and non secular Jews have frequently visited below police escort, angering the Palestinians and Jordan.
Israel says police have been pressured to enter the compound early Friday after Palestinians stockpiled stones and hurled rocks on the gate by way of which Jewish guests sometimes enter. That gate additionally results in the Western Wall, the holiest web site the place Jews can pray.
Latest weeks have seen a collection of Palestinian assaults inside Israel that killed 14 folks. Israel has launched near-daily arrest raids and different navy operations within the occupied West Financial institution that it says are aimed toward stopping extra.
The navy stated Monday it arrested 11 Palestinians in operations throughout the territory in a single day. In a raid close to the town of Jenin, the military stated dozens of Palestinians hurled rocks and explosives towards troops.
Troopers “responded with dwell ammunition towards the suspects who hurled explosive gadgets,” the navy stated. The Palestinian Well being Ministry stated two males have been hospitalized after being critically wounded.
Two of the current attackers got here from in and round Jenin, which has lengthy been a bastion of armed wrestle towards Israeli rule.
At the very least 26 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in current weeks, in response to an Related Press rely. Many had carried out assaults or have been concerned in clashes, however an unarmed girl and a lawyer who seems to have been a bystander have been additionally amongst these killed.
Related Press writers Ilan Ben Zion in Jerusalem, Omar Akour in Jordan, Fares Akram in Hamilton, Canada; Matthew Lee in Washington and Jennifer Peltz on the United Nations contributed to this report.