Israeli air strikes hit Hamas complex in Gaza

Israeli air strikes hit Hamas complex in Gaza

Israel has carried out air strikes on Gaza in response to a rocket fired from the Palestinian enclave at the weekend.

The Israeli army said it struck “an underground complex containing raw materials used for the manufacturing of rockets belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation”.

The strikes were launched were “in response to the Saturday rocket launch from Gaza into Israel”, it said on Monday.

Air raid sirens sounded in communities in near the Gaza border after the strikes, the military said.

There were no reported casualties in Gaza or Israel following the latest round of missile fire.

Meanwhile, unrest continued in the West Bank, the scene of near-relentless violence over the past year, after the Palestinian Red Crescent said one person was killed in a predawn Israeli army raid in Nablus.

The Israeli army did not immediately comment on the raid.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has led to a considerable increase in violence. Since the start of the year, the conflict has claimed the lives of 47 Palestinian adults and children, including militants and civilians.

Nine Israeli civilians, including three children, and one Ukrainian civilian have been killed over the same period, according to an AFP tally based on official sources from both sides.

In a move expected to inflame tension, Israel’s security cabinet said on Saturday that it would legalise nine West Bank Jewish settlements in response to fatal Palestinian attacks in occupied east Jerusalem.

It said many of the newly authorised communities had existed for years, and others for decades, but had not previously been recognised as legitimate by Israel’s government.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War.

About 475,000 Jewish settlers now live in the Palestinian territory, in communities considered illegal under international law.

Most of them are in settlements that Israel has unilaterally authorised but some live in communities that have yet to be approved by the government.

The security cabinet also said would announce a new round of settler housing construction in the West Bank, a step expected to draw widespread international condemnation.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned against settlement expansion in a trip to the region last month.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government also announced a beefed up security presence in Israel-annexed east Jerusalem, the scene of two recent deadly attacks on civilians.

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