As tensions rise, Gaza militants launch rockets into Israel

Palestinian militants launched a rocket at southern Israel on Monday for the first time since months.

As tensions rise, Gaza militants launch rockets into Israel

This was in a retaliation to clashes at Jerusalem's holy site, as well as a series of attacks inside Israel and military raids in the occupied West Bank.

Israel claimed it intercepted and destroyed the rocket. There were no immediate reports of injuries or casualties. Israel considers Gaza's Hamas rulers to be responsible for the projectiles. It also launches airstrikes following them. It was the first such rocket attack since New Years Eve.

Israeli fighter jets launched a series airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning, targeting a Hamas "weapons production site", according to the Israeli military. There were no injuries reported.

The leader of Islamic Jihad, a militant group that boasts a rocket arsenal, issued a short, cryptic warning hours earlier. He condemned Israeli "violations” in Jerusalem.

Ziad al-Nakhala is not based in the Palestinian territories. He said that threats to tighten the Israeli-Egyptian Blockade of Gaza imposed 15 years ago by Hamas "can't silence" us from what's going on in Jerusalem and the Occupied West Bank.

However, no Palestinian group claimed responsibility.

Over the weekend , Israeli police and Palestinians clashed in and around Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. This area has been a long-standing epicenter for Israeli-Palestinian violence. It is considered the third most sacred site in Islam, and the holymost for Jews. The mosque stands on the hilltop where the Jewish temples were in antiquity.

The 11-day Gaza war was triggered by protests and clashes last year.

The police claimed they were responding to Palestinian stones throwing and that they were determined to ensure that Jews, Christians, and Muslims -- whose major holidays will be converging this calendar year -- can celebrate them in safety in the Holy Land. The presence of Israeli police on the scene was seen by Palestinians as a provocative act and they used excessive force.

Monday's rocket fire brought to an abrupt halt by Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister of Naftali, who stated that Israel had been the victim of a Hamas-led incitement campaign.

These tensions are triggered by the rare combination of Ramadan, a Muslim holy month, and Passover, a week-long Jewish holiday. Christians are also marking their holy week leading to Easter. For the first time since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, thousands have visited Jerusalem's Old City. This Old City is home to important holy sites of all three religions.

Jordan and Egypt, who made peace with Israel over a decade ago and work together on security issues, condemned Israel's actions at the mosque. Jordan, which is the custodian of this site, summoned Israel's charge-d'affaires Monday in protest.

According to a statement, King Abdullah II of Jordan discussed violence with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi. They agreed on the need to "stop all illegal and provocative Israeli actions" in that area. Jordan had planned to host a meeting with other Arab countries on the subject.

Over the past year, Israel has worked to improve relations between Jordan and Israel. It has also recently normalized relations other Arab countries. has been focusing its attention on the unresolved conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. This is something that Israel has tried to ignore in recent years.

The U.S. State Department asked all sides to exercise restraint and to refrain from provocative actions or rhetoric and to preserve the historical status quo at the holy site. Ned Price, a spokesperson for the United States, said that officials from the country were in contact with counterparts throughout the region to calm tensions.

The U.N. Security Council has scheduled a closed-door meeting to discuss tensions on Tuesday.

An Arab party that made history by joining the governing coalition last year in Israel suspended its participation on Sunday. This was a symbolic act, but it reflected the sensitive nature of the holy site, the emotional heart of the century-old war.

In 1967, Israel captured the West Bank along with Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. This includes the Old City. These territories are coveted by the Palestinians as a potential future state. In an act not recognized internationally, Israel annexed East Jerusalem and is expanding Jewish settlements throughout the West Bank. It considers the West Bank to be the Biblical and Historical Heartland of the Jewish People.

More than a decade has passed since the collapse of the last substantive and serious peace negotiations.

Since long, the Palestinians fear that Israel will take over or divide the mosque compound. Recent calls from Jewish extremists to slaughter animals have been widely shared on social media by Palestinians, prompting calls for the defense of the mosque.

Israeli authorities claim they are not going to change the status quo and that police are strictly prohibiting animal sacrifices. Israel allows Jews to visit the site, but not to pray. Recent years have seen a large number of religious and nationalist Jews regularly visit the site under police escort. This has angered Jordan and the Palestinians.

Israel claims that police had to enter the compound on Friday morning after Palestinians had stockpiled stones and hurled stones at the gate, through which Jewish visitors usually enter. This gate leads to the Western Wall. It is the most sacred place where Jews can pray.

In recent weeks, 14 Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks. Israel launched almost daily arrest raids in the West Bank and other military operations that it claims are intended to prevent more.

Monday's military operation in the territory saw 11 Palestinians arrested. The army claimed that dozens of Palestinians launched rocks and explosives at troops during a raid close to Jenin.

According to the military, soldiers "responded with live ammo towards the suspects who hurled explosives," they said. Two men, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, were admitted after they sustained severe injuries.

Two attackers were found in and around Jenin. This area has been a stronghold of the armed struggle against Israeli rule.

According to the Associated Press, 26 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces over recent weeks. Many were involved in attacks or clashes. However, an unarmed woman was also killed along with a lawyer who appeared to be a bystander.


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