Reuters reported that Palestinian militants fired two rockets from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel on Friday.
An exchange of fire in the Gaza Strip
The Palestinian Authority said Friday’s incident exacerbated tensions between Palestinians and Israelis that arose after Thursday’s raid on the Jenin refugee camp. On Thursday, Israel carried out an air strike in the occupied West Bank, which, according to information provided by the Palestinian side, resulted in the killing of seven activists and an elderly woman.
Israel’s Channel 12 broadcast footage showing the firing of Israeli interceptor missiles at the city of Ashkelon, about 12 kilometers (7 miles) north of the Gaza Strip.
A few hours later, the Israeli army confirmed that it had carried out strikes in the Gaza Strip. According to Reuters, eyewitnesses from Palestine confirmed that Israeli planes targeted a Hamas training camp. There were no reports of injuries.
It was the first attack of its kind from territory ruled by Hamas militants since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power as the government vowed to take a hard line against Palestinian militants.
Netanyahu said Israel was not seeking to escalate the situation, but had ordered its security forces to prepare.
United States: the need for de-escalation
Washington talked about the volatile situation in the Gaza Strip. The US State Department said, “The raid on the Jenin camp and the firing of rockets increase the risk of major Israeli-Palestinian fighting and cast a shadow over the expected visit of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to the region next week.”
“We stress the urgent need for all parties to de-escalate, prevent further civilian casualties, and work together to improve the security situation in the West Bank,” said State Department spokesman Ned Price.
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