The fear of a new military escalation has not disappeared. On the evening of Wednesday, April 20, a missile – the second of its kind this week – was launched from the Gaza Strip and landed in a field in the Israeli town of Sderot (south), without causing any casualties. Meanwhile, the Israeli army carried out a series of strikes in the middle of this small region of 2.3 million people, which is under the control of the Islamists of Hamas.
‘Israeli warplanes targeted military sites and the entrance to a tunnel leading to an underground complex where chemicals used to propel missiles are stored’According to the Israeli army.
Four more missiles were fired at Israel
Shortly after these retaliatory Israeli strikes, four more missiles were fired towards Israel, where they were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile shield.And The Israeli army announced that sirens sounded in the middle of the night in Israeli towns bordering the Gaza Strip.
“The strikes on the Gaza Strip will increase the resolve of our people and the resistance.” (…) To defend our sanctities in Jerusalem, regardless of the sacrifices.”Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said in a statement.
The exchange of fire – the second this week and the most intense since the end of the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in May 2021 – follows clashes over the weekend between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police in the mosque plaza. In Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam and the first holiest site in Judaism under the name of the Temple Mount.
The presence of Jews – who can visit the sanctuary under specific circumstances and times but cannot pray there by tacit agreement – and police officers at the site during Ramadan, has been seen by Palestinians and many countries in the region as a gesture. of provocation.
On Wednesday evening, the Israeli police prevented hundreds of Jewish nationalist demonstrators from approaching the Islamic Quarter in the Old City of Jerusalem, where the Mosque Square is located, in order to avoid clashes. National organizations had called for this great march, a demonstration that they considered a gesture ” excitement “ from the government.
Police prevented nationalist Jewish demonstrators
More than a thousand demonstrators, waving Israeli flags, gathered at dawn today in Indulgence Square, near the City Hall, opposite the Old City. Hundreds of protesters tried to approach Bab al-Amoud, the main entrance to the Muslim quarter of the city. But police prevented the protesters, including many supporters of far-right MP Itamar Ben Gvir, who prevented Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett from entering the area earlier in the day.
‘I will not allow Ben Gvir’s political provocation to endanger Israeli soldiers and police and further complicate their mission’Prime Minister said.
I say it clearly (…)I will not bowThe French news agency (AFP) received Mr. Ben Gvir. What law does not allow me to enter the gate of the column? »
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is “Extremely concerned about the deteriorating situation in Jerusalem”His spokesman said in New York on Wednesday. “He is in contact with all parties in order to reduce tension and prevent incitement and rhetoric.”.
Clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and the occupation police, on Friday and Sunday, resulted in the injury of more than 170 people in the square of mosques, while Muslim celebrations coincided with the month of Ramadan and Easter.