Israel says rocket intercepted, stages airstrikes in Gaza | World News
TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) – Militants fired a missile into southern Israel on Wednesday, the army said, triggering sirens and increasing already-elevated tensions under the country’s new ultranationalist government.
Early Thursday, the Israeli military said it had begun attacking targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets. According to local media, Israeli warplanes have attacked a militant site in the central Gaza Strip. There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The rocket from the Gaza Strip was intercepted, according to the military. Israel usually responds to rocket fire with airstrikes, increasing the possibility of further escalation.
Local residents reported hearing explosions. The Israel Rescue Service said it had received no reports of injuries, except for a 50-year-old woman who slipped and fell while running to an animal shelter.
The action in Israel’s heaven comes Wednesday after the Gaza-ruling Hamas militant group threatened Israel over the combative stance of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, who has promised harsh treatment of Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails. From the occupied West Bank to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, many Palestinians worship prisoners as heroes for the Palestinian cause.
Ben-Gvir said the new rocket fire from Gaza will not stop him from implementing his punitive policy against Palestinian detainees. He called for an urgent security cabinet meeting to discuss a response.
Israeli-Palestinian violence has increased in recent days as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited with a call for calm.
An Israeli military attack on a militant stronghold in the West Bank city of Jenin last week killed ten people, most of them militants. The next day, Palestinian gunfire in a Jewish settlement in east Jerusalem killed seven people. Two Israelis were injured in a separate shooting in East Jerusalem over the weekend by a 13-year-old Palestinian.
After the riots, Israel approved a series of punitive measures against the Palestinians.
Hamas issued a statement on Tuesday condemning alleged attacks by prison guards on Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, particularly women detainees.
The Israel Prison Service said trouble began last Friday when it placed dozens of Palestinian prisoners in solitary confinement after they celebrated the deadly Palestinian attack outside the synagogue in east Jerusalem. A Palestinian prisoner who was sentenced to isolation tried to set fire to her cell in protest, the prison service said. In an independent move, the prison service removed televisions from three cells in Israel’s Ofer prison near the city of Ramallah.
Amani Srahneh of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Club, a group representing former and current prisoners, said the “escalating measures and this new Israeli government’s anti-prisoner incitement policy” are creating “a very tense situation.”
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