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Israel says Rocket Fired From Gaza Intercepted As Jerusalem Tensions Spike

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Hamas had warned on Sunday that “Al-Aqsa is ours and ours alone.” (File)

Jerusalem:

Gaza militants fired a rocket into Israel Monday, the Israeli military mentioned, the primary such incident in months and an indication {that a} wave of violence round a Jerusalem holy website might escalate additional.

“Sirens sounded in the area surrounding the Gaza Strip,” the Israeli military mentioned, referring to a Palestinian enclave managed by the Islamist group Hamas.

“One rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory. The rocket was intercepted by the Iron Dome Air Defense System,” the army added in an announcement.

There have been no speedy reviews of casualties and no faction within the crowded enclave of two.three million inhabitants instantly claimed duty.

Israel holds Hamas liable for all rocket hearth from Israel, and normally carries out air strikes in response.

The incident, the primary of its form since January, comes after a weekend of Israeli-Palestinian violence in and round Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque compound that wounded greater than 170 folks, largely Palestinian demonstrators.

Diplomatic sources mentioned the United Nations Security Council was to carry a session on Tuesday to debate the spike in violence.

Similar violence in Jerusalem across the similar time final 12 months triggered repeated Hamas rocket hearth into Israel which escalated into an 11-day struggle.

– ‘Illegitimate and provocative’ –

The spike in tensions coincides with each the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the Jewish competition of Passover.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is understood to Jews as Temple Mount — the holiest website in Judaism and the third-holiest in Islam.

Palestinians have been angered by repeated visits to the location by Jewish worshippers, who’re permitted to enter however might not pray there.

The authorities of Naftali Bennett has repeatedly declared that Israeli safety forces have a “free hand” to take care of demonstrators.

Hamas had warned on Sunday that “Al-Aqsa is ours and ours alone” and swore to defend Palestinians’ proper to wish there.

The rocket hearth and Al-Aqsa clashes got here after a spike in violence together with 4 lethal assaults since late March within the Jewish state by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs that claimed 14 lives, largely civilians.

A complete of 23 Palestinians have in the meantime been killed within the violence since March 22, together with assailants who focused Israelis, in keeping with an AFP tally.

They embrace Hanan Khudur, an 18-year-old Palestinian lady who died Monday after being shot by Israeli forces final week within the village of Faquaa, close to the flashpoint metropolis of Jenin.

Israel had poured further forces into the occupied West Bank and has been reinforcing its barrier within the territory.

State Department spokesman Ned Price mentioned Monday that the United States was “deeply concerned” in regards to the tensions and that senior US officers had been in contact by phone with their counterparts from Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Arab nations.

“We have urged all sides to preserve the historic status quo” on the Al-Aqsa compound and keep away from “provocative” steps, he mentioned.

Jordan on Monday summoned the Israeli cost d’affaires “to deliver a message of protest over illegitimate and provocative Israeli violations at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque”, its international ministry mentioned in an announcement.

Jordan serves as custodian of holy locations in east Jerusalem, together with the Old City, which Israel occupied in 1967 and later annexed in a transfer not recognised by many of the worldwide group.

Bennett on Monday denounced what he referred to as a “Hamas-led incitement campaign” and mentioned Israel was doing “everything” to make sure folks of all faiths might safely worship in Jerusalem.

“We expect everyone not to join the lies and certainly not to encourage violence against Jews,” he mentioned, in an obvious reference to Jordan.

Bennett can be dealing with a political disaster at dwelling after his ideologically disparate coalition misplaced its one-seat majority within the 120-seat Knesset, Israel’s parliament, simply wanting a 12 months since he painstakingly cobbled a authorities collectively.

On Sunday, Raam, the primary Arab-Israeli get together ever to be a part of an Israeli authorities, mentioned it was “suspending” its membership over the violence in Jerusalem.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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