Jerusalem (EFE) occupied by Israeli forces.
“In response to rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip, Israel Defense Forces warplanes attacked a military base used by the Hamas terrorist organization,” an Israeli army spokesperson said.
It is an underground rocket manufacturing center in Maghazi, in the center of the Strip.
“This attack will significantly hamper the efforts to intensify and arm Hamas”, the Islamist movement that governs de facto in the coastal strip from 2007, added the same source.
The airstrikes began from Gaza with the launch of five rockets that set off anti-missile alarms in Israeli areas bordering the coastal enclave: three of them were intercepted by Israel’s air defense system, another landed in unpopulated areas and another inside the Gaza Strip, added the same source.
No damage or casualties were reported from these rockets.
Israel considers Hamas “responsible for all terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip” and warned that it “will face the consequences of security violations against Israel,” the Army said.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant called on his forces to “be ready for action with a variety of offensive measures and high-interest targets, should further action become necessary.”
Gaza residents told Efe that they heard the roar of drones and Israeli army fighters in the air, as well as several explosions in the center of the Strip. According to them, more than 14 shells were fired.
Palestinian medical sources said no injuries were reported during the attacks.
In the past year, Palestinian militias in Gaza have fired rockets at Israel in response to the deaths or detention of their members in the West Bank, but so far no militia has claimed responsibility for the early morning attack.
“The resistance in Gaza has its hand on the trigger and is not isolated from what is happening in the West Bank,” Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri, deputy head of the Hamas Islamist movement’s political bureau, warned shortly before the rocket launch.
The occupied West Bank experienced one of its deadliest days in years on Thursday after Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians during a raid in Jenin.
This event was described as a “massacre” by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), which partially governs the occupied West Bank through the Fatah party of President Mahmoud Abbas.
The PNA terminated Security coordination with Israel and called on all Palestinian factions to act together, a position welcomed by Al Arouri.
Army troops, intelligence agents and Israeli police stormed the Jenin refugee camp on Thursday, a focus of Palestinian armed resistance in the occupied West Bank, to carry out an operation to arrest an Islamic Jihad squad that led to violent clashes.
The raid ended with three hours of fighting and exchanges of fire between Israeli troops and local militants, which left nine Palestinians dead, including an elderly woman and members of Islamic Jihad. There are also 20 injured, four of them seriously.
After the funerals of the fatalities, clashes broke out between Palestinians and Israeli forces in various parts of the West Bank, which left one dead and at least seven injured.
The Islamist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad warned from Gaza with a rapid retaliatory action for what happened in Jenin, for which the Israeli Army went on alert and reinforced its defenses around Gaza.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian authorities will request an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council, while the United States called for “de-escalation and calm.”
Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations – usual mediators between Israel and Palestinian armed groups – have advocated avoiding a further escalation.
Last year, 170 Palestinians – some of them militants, but also unarmed civilians – were killed in incidents with Israel in the West Bank, the most violent year in the area since 2006, after the end of the Second Intifada. So far in 2023, with those of today, there are already 30 fatalities in the West Bank, an average of more than one per day.
The last time a rocket was fired from Gaza into Israel was on January 3, following Hamas’s threats to retaliate against Israel’s National Security Minister, anti-Arab extremist Itamar Ben Gvir, for visiting the Jerusalem Mosques. , a holy place for Muslims and Jews. The rocket failed to cross the border.