Two more rockets fired from Gaza towards Israel: Army, witnesses

Two more rockets were fired on Wednesday evening from the Israeli-blockaded Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory, the army and witnesses said, after earlier rocket fire led to retaliatory air strikes.

Witnesses reported the latest rockets were launched from the north of Gaza. Israel’s army said one landed on the Gaza side while the other fell in the border area between Gaza and Israel.

Palestinian militants fired at least nine rockets from Gaza into Israel after the first clash, drawing air strikes which Israel said targeted weapon production sites for the Islamist group Hamas that controls the blockaded coastal enclave.

No casualties were reported on either side of the Gaza border. Hamas did not claim responsibility for the rocket attacks but said they were a response to the raid on al-Aqsa, where clashes in 2021 set off a 10-day war with Gaza.

Just before the second al-Aqsa clash, two more rockets were fired from Gaza. The Israeli military said one fell short and the other in an open space

“We are not interested in an escalation, but we are ready for any scenario,” Israeli military spokesman Daniel Hagari said earlier in the day.

Al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem’s Old City is Islam’s third holiest site where tens of thousands pray during Ramadan. It is also Judaism’s most sacred site, revered as Temple Mount, a vestige of the two biblical Jewish temples.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the situation on “extremists” who barricaded themselves inside the mosque with weapons, stones, and fireworks.

“Israel is committed to maintaining freedom of worship, free access to all religions and the status quo on the Temple Mount and will not allow violent extremists to change that,” he said in a statement.

Under a longstanding “status quo” arrangement governing the compound, non-Muslims can visit but only Muslims may worship. Some Jewish visitors have increasingly prayed there despite that arrangement.

The Waqf described the police actions as a “flagrant assault on the identity and the function of the mosque as a place of worship for Muslims alone.”

Related Articles

Back to top button