Tensions escalated in Gaza after Israel intensified its air raids
GAZA/JERUSALEM, April 7 (IANS) Israel today, Friday, intensified its airstrikes on military sites in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon, in response to the firing of rockets at several areas in the Jewish state, which led to an escalation of tensions with Palestine over the past three days. Palestinian worshipers clashed at Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem.
Security sources in Hamas said that Israeli reconnaissance drones and combat aircraft launched dozens of air raids on military sites and facilities belonging to the Al-Qassam Brigades, the movement’s military wing, according to what was reported by the New China News Agency (Xinhua).
Residents told Xinhua that they heard the buzz of fighter jets and drones flying over the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and that shelling was heard throughout the coastal enclave.
Medical sources in Gaza said that no injuries were reported immediately, and that hospitals and clinics declared a state of emergency and preparedness to receive possible injuries.
The Al-Qassam Brigades and other smaller armed groups said in separate statements that their fighters fired anti-aircraft missiles at Israeli planes that flew over the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Joint Operations Room, which includes several armed wings of the Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad, had announced earlier that its fighters were “ready to confront any Israeli attack.”
The statement stated: “In light of the enemy’s threats to our resistance and our people in Gaza, we affirm our readiness to confront any aggression and respond to it with full force, and to defend our people in all their places of presence and our sanctities.” statement.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Israeli army said that sirens sounded in southern Israel after a barrage of shells and rockets was launched from the Gaza Strip, and that Israeli fighters bombed several Hamas sites and facilities in the south, center, west and north of the Gaza Strip.
The spokesman said, “The Israeli army attacked tonight with a remote-operated aircraft and a heavy bomber, from which missiles were fired at Israeli army planes and on Israeli territory.”
The Israeli military confirmed on Friday that the Israeli Air Force bombed southern Lebanon, with Israel accusing Hamas and other armed groups of being responsible for firing at least 34 rockets from southern Lebanon into northern Israel.
According to the army, 25 missiles were intercepted by the IDF’s air defense system, while five landed in Israeli territory and four other launches are being reviewed.
The Israeli military has warned that it will not allow Hamas, which runs the Gaza Strip and has a smaller presence in the occupied West Bank, to operate from inside Lebanon, and that it “holds the State of Lebanon responsible for all directed fire emanating from Israel.” from its lands.”
The Israeli air strikes began when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was convening his security cabinet to discuss possible military responses to the rockets fired from Lebanon – the largest single barrage in 17 years.
The latest escalation comes during a sensitive holiday period when Muslims celebrate the holy month of Ramadan by praying at the Al-Aqsa compound and Jews commemorate Easter.
The clashes erupted after the Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site for Muslims, for two consecutive days, firing gas bombs and stun grenades at worshipers.
Earlier this week, Gaza militants fired some 20 rockets into southern Israel in response to Israeli raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Also in the past, the shrine has often witnessed clashes between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli security forces, leading to wider unrest.
In May 2021, an Israeli raid here contributed to an 11-day all-out conflict between Israel and Hamas, the armed Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip.