After a weekend of violence in Jerusalem’s holy sites, appeasement does not appear to be on the agenda. Sirens sounded in southern Israel on the evening of Monday, April 18, as the country experienced its first rocket fire from the Gaza Strip since the beginning of January.
“A missile was fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory and was intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system”the Israeli army said in a press release, while a shell was hit in the sea off Tel Aviv. In response to this attack, fighter planes [l’Etat hébreu] Weapons factories belonging to the terrorist organization Hamas were bombed in Gazashe added.
For its part, the ruling Islamic armed movement in the Gaza Strip claimed that it exploited it “Air Defense” Trying to counter these blows. Eyewitnesses and security sources in Gaza said that these first Israeli raids in several months in the Palestinian sector did not result in casualties.
“Congratulations to the resistance fighters who confronted the fighter planes with our anti-aircraft defenses.”Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement that the Israeli forces bombed “blank sites”.
series of accidents
The rocket fire was not announced, but it comes in a tense context after several incidents in recent weeks and violence throughout the weekend in Jerusalem.
A series of attacks in Israel – two of them carried out by Palestinians in Tel Aviv – have killed 14 people since March 22. Israeli accidents or operations “anti-terrorism” In the West Bank – Palestinian territories occupied by the Jewish state since 1967 – 23 Palestinians were killed, including assailants on the armed forces of the Jewish state. Palestinian citizen Hanan Khader, 18, was martyred after she was recently shot by the Israeli army in Al-Faqa village near Jenin, the stronghold of Palestinian armed factions in the West Bank.
More than 150 Palestinians were injured in Jerusalem on Friday in clashes with Israeli forces at Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, which is also considered the first holiest site in Judaism under the name of the Temple Mount. And on Sunday, new clashes broke out in and around this holy place that the Jews had gone to visit, which some Muslims considered an insult. Palestinian youths were arrested on the same day after stones were thrown at Israeli civilian buses near the scene.
Last year, clashes in Jerusalem during the same period of the year led to Hamas firing a barrage of rockets from Gaza toward Israel, which then responded by bombing the Palestinian territory of 2.3 million people, sparking a bloody 11-day war.
Security sources and Israeli analysts have reiterated in recent weeks that Hamas, which has welcomed recent attacks in Israel, does not want war this year, citing two main reasons. First, the movement’s military capabilities were affected by the May 2021 war. Second, because in the event of a conflict, the new Israeli government risks suspending thousands of work permits granted in recent months to workers in Gaza. The local unemployment rate is around 50%.
Revival of relations between Israel and Jordan
And Islamic Jihad, the main Palestinian armed movement after Hamas, which does not run the Gaza Strip, unlike it, threatened a new military escalation. “We can no longer remain silent about what is happening in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.”Its leader, Ziyad Al-Nakhala, said in a press statement. According to Israeli intelligence, the movement has thousands of fighters and missiles in Gaza.
The recent events in the mosque square also led to a slight chill on Monday between Israel and Jordan, which called on the Israeli Chargé d’Affairs in Amman to demand an end to the war. “Illegal and Provocative Israeli Violations”. Jordan, bound by a peace treaty with Israel since 1994, administers the square, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are located, but access to this place is under Israeli control.
This summons “It harms calm efforts in Jerusalem.”The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded. Statements accusing Israel of violence directed against us are serious and unacceptable (…) It is a reward for those who instigate violence.”Prime Minister Naftali Bennett added at the head of a coalition that includes, among others, the right-wing and an Arab party, which has been weakened by recent events.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday evening that the United States was ‘Very worried’ These tensions and that Washington is intensifying its contacts with Israel, the Palestinian Authority and Arab countries in an attempt to curb them.