Rockets from Gaza landed near Jerusalem, amid new attacks

image source, Getty Images

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The rockets reached the settlement bloc south of Jerusalem

A barrage of rockets reached an area near Jerusalem for the first time in four days of fighting between Israel and militants in Gaza.

Local media say a rocket fired from Gaza landed near the Jewish settlement of Bat Ein in the occupied West Bank, about 16 km south of Jerusalem. There were no reports of injuries.

Israel says it attacked websites used by militants in Gaza in retaliation.

It comes at a time when Egypt is mediating a cease-fire between the two sides.

The Gaza health ministry said 31 people – nearly half of them civilians – have been killed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza since Israel launched a surprise attack that killed three Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants on Tuesday.

The Israeli Magen David Adom ambulance service said that one Israeli was killed and five wounded in rocket fire in the same period.

The Islamic Jihad in Palestine said, “The firing of rockets at Jerusalem is a message, and everyone must understand its purpose.” Israel considers Jerusalem its capital, and its targeting constitutes a major escalation by the militants. This is the first time that rockets have landed near there since a 10-day conflict between the two sides in May 2021.

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Israel has carried out more than 200 air strikes on Gaza

The Israeli military said it bombed rocket launch sites, military sites and command centers of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in response. Palestinian sources said that residential buildings were bombed.

The fighting this week is the fiercest since the three days of fighting between Israel and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad last August, in which 49 Palestinians were killed in Gaza.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad is the largest armed group after Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and vows to destroy Israel.

Israel said the three Islamic Jihad commanders were planning attacks when they were killed in an air strike on Tuesday morning. It killed two other commanders – the commander of the rocket force in Palestine Islamic Jihad and his deputy – in strikes on Thursday.

The Israeli military says more than 850 rockets have been fired at it from Gaza over the past four days, most of which it says were intercepted or landed in open areas. It says that about a fifth of them fell short and fell in Gaza. According to the Israeli army, four people, including three children, were killed in Gaza by failed missiles, although this was not confirmed by Palestinian sources.

It says it has bombed 215 militant targets with air strikes in Gaza.

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