Rockets fired into Israel after war planes hit Gaza

Cross-border violence follows Israeli-Palestinian violence in Jerusalem over recent weeks

Streaks of light are seen as Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Several rockets have been fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip after Israeli aircraft hit Gaza militant sites early on Thursday.

The Israeli military said four rockets were fired and intercepted by air defences, AP reported.

It followed an earlier rocket strike from Gaza into Israel late on Wednesday – the second such attack in a week – that triggered Israeli air strikes.

The cross-border violence follows rising incidents of Israeli-Palestinian violence in Jerusalem over recent weeks.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage and no one claimed the rocket strikes.

Israel holds the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza responsible for all rocket fire and typically responds with air strikes within hours.

Israeli-Palestinian tensions have spiked after violence at the Al Aqsa Mosque compound since last week. At least 20 people were injured in confrontations with Israeli police at Al Aqsa on Thursday, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

An official of the trust which administers the site, said large numbers of police used stun grenades to clear the compound. Police also fired stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets against Palestinians who had sealed themselves inside the mosque, he told Associated Press.

Early on Thursday, Israeli war planes conducted a series of air strikes at a Hamas military site in the central Gaza Strip, local media reported.

The Israeli military said the strikes were aimed at a militant site and an entrance of a tunnel leading to an underground complex holding “raw chemicals” to make rockets.

Israeli air strikes hit Gaza Strip after rockets fired from enclave

Israeli air strikes hit Gaza Strip after rockets fired from enclave

The Israeli military later said its planes attacked another Hamas compound after an anti-aircraft missile was fired from Gaza during the initial air strikes. It said the missile failed to hit its target and no injuries or damage were reported from the anti-aircraft missile.

Hamas had earlier issued vague threats over a planned march through Jerusalem by Israeli ultra-nationalists. But Israeli police blocked roads and prevented the marchers from reaching dense Palestinian neighborhoods in and around the Old City, after a similar event nearly a year ago helped trigger an Israel-Gaza war.

Before the demonstration, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said security forces would prevent far-right politician Itamar Ben-Gvir from reaching Damascus Gate.

“I will not allow a political provocation by Ben-Gvir to endanger IDF [Israeli military] soldiers and Israel Police officers,” said the right-wing prime minister.

Al Aqsa Mosque violence – in pictures

Updated: April 21, 2022, 8:29 AM