Israel strikes Hamas 'rocket production site' in Gaza

Four rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip after US President Joe Biden concluded his visit to Israel on Friday

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Israel said it struck a rocket production site in Gaza belonging to Hamas on Saturday, after coming under rocket fire overnight.

The Israeli military said the attack would "significantly impede Hamas's force-building capabilities".

Four rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip after US President Joe Biden concluded his visit to Israel on Friday

Sirens were heard in southern Israel, prompting civilians to seek shelter.

Israel said one of the rockets was intercepted and others landed in open areas causing no harm.

Hamas made no claim of responsibility for the launch.

The rockets were fired hours after Mr Biden left Israel for Saudi Arabia on the last leg of a three-day regional tour.

Mr Biden met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday and reiterated US support for a two-state solution but added that conditions were not ripe for peace talks.

Following Mr Biden's meeting with Palestinian officials, Hamas issued a statement accusing the US of being a "partner in aggression on Palestinians".

Mr Biden announced $316 million worth of aid for Palestinians, including $200m for the UN agency assisting Palestinian refugees and $100m for the East Jerusalem Hospital Network.

During his visit Mr Biden also renewed a pledge to support Israel in keeping its military edge to "defend itself" against aggression by regional powers such as Iran.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in turn called for the formation of "a political alliance to protect the region from domination, normalisation and the seizure of its wealth" in a veiled reference to the US-Israeli alliance.

Hamas has fought four wars with Israel, which imposed a blockade on the Gaza strip after the group seized control of the Palestinian enclave in 2007.

Updated: July 17, 2022, 7:59 AM
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