Saturday, April 20, 2024

Israel bombs Gaza following fatal Jenin raid

Israel has carried out airstrikes on an alleged military site in the Gaza Strip, claiming the mission was a response to rockets fired from the area. Palestinian officials accused Israeli troops of a “massacre” in the occupied West Bank, with armed groups vowing to retaliate.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced the strikes early on Friday morning, saying it targeted an “underground” facility used to produce rockets for Hamas, the political party and armed faction that has ruled Gaza since 2007.

“The attack was carried out in response to the launch of rockets earlier tonight from the Gaza Strip into Israel, which were intercepted by air defense fighters,” the military announced, adding that the strikes resulted in “significant damage to the strengthening and arming of Hamas.”

At least five rockets were fired toward Israel overnight, according to the IDF, with three intercepted, one landing in an open area and another falling short inside Gaza. The launches prompted air raid sirens in settlements bordering the Palestinian enclave.

The rocket salvo followed an Israeli special forces raid on a refugee camp in the West Bank on Thursday, which ended in a shootout with militants and left nine Palestinians dead, among them a 61-year-old woman, according to the Palestinian Authority.

The Palestinian Authority denounced the operation as a “massacre,” saying it would halt all security cooperation with Israel in response.

“Security coordination with the occupation government no longer exists as of now,” Palestinian Authority Deputy Prime Minister Nabil Abu Rudeineh stated, adding that the decision was made in light of “the repeated aggression against our people, and the undermining of signed agreements, in reference to commitments from the Oslo peace process in the 1990s.”

Video clips circulating in local media showed the aftermath of the refugee camp raid, with residents seen picking through rubble and burned out buildings in Jenin. The attack was the single deadliest raid in the West Bank in more than two decades.

Hamas declared that its retaliation would “not be delayed” soon after the Israeli operation, while Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan accused IDF troops of “field executions” and stressed “the Palestinian resistance will do everything in its power to defend our people.”

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