TEL AVIV (Realist English). The Israeli Air Force struck an arms factory in the Gaza Strip on April 18, Al Jazeera TV channel reports.
The site belongs to Hamas, the Palestinian group that administers the coastal enclave. The armed wing of Hamas responded to the attack with surface-to-air missiles.
Earlier, the IDF intercepted a rocket fired at southern Israel. Over the past few months, this is the first escalation amid growing tensions around the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem. There are no data on casualties.
Palestinians accuse Israel of attacks on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and Israelis say that Palestinian protesters seek to disrupt Muslim prayer for political purposes and prevent visits by Jews who celebrate Passover.
The Israeli police say they are committed to ensuring that members of all faiths can celebrate the holidays safely.
Hamas had warned that any incidents at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a site revered by Muslims and Jews, would be a “red line” after Israeli forces raided the site in occupied East Jerusalem several times in recent days, arresting hundreds of Palestinians and leaving dozens injured.
Prior to the rocket attack, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused Hamas of waging a “wild harassment campaign” against Israel.
Egypt and Jordan condemned the actions of the Jewish state. Jordan’s King Abdullah II has warned that Israel’s “unilateral” actions against worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque seriously undermine the prospects for peace in the region.
Egypt and Jordan, which inked peace agreements with Israel decades ago and coordinate with it on security matters, have condemned the actions of Israeli forces at the site. Jordan’s King Abdullah II said on Monday that Israel’s “unilateral” moves against Muslim worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque seriously undermined the prospects for peace in the region, according to state media.