Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza in response to rocket fire amid rising tensions in Jerusalem

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Israel IsraelThe Israeli military launched airstrikes on Tuesday on the Gaza strip in response to a rocket fired by the Palestinian militants into southern Israel for the first time in months on Monday. Tensions soar between the Israeli military and Palestinian militants in recent weeks after clashes at a sensitive holy site in Jerusalem. The latest airstrikes took place after a weekend of violence around a holy site in Jerusalem.

Warning sirens sounded in southern Israel on Monday night after the rocket was fired from the Palestinian enclave controlled by the Sunni-Islamic militant Hamas. The rocket crashed into the sea off Tel Aviv, a city on Israel’s Mediterranean coast. The Iron Dome Air Defense System intercepted the rocket. It was the first such rocket fire since January, prompting a retaliatory strike by the Israeli military.

On Tuesday, Israeli fighter jets carried out a series of airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip and hit a Hamas weapons manufacturing site in retaliation. Hamas used its “anti-aircraft defence” to counter the air raids. The Israeli military said that there were no reports of injuries.

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Palestinians and Israeli police clashed over the weekend around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem. Clashes in Jerusalem amid the Muslim holy month of Ramadan triggered tension between Israeli forces and Palestinian. Recently, a visit by Jews to a disputed holy site caused tension among Palestinians. Jews are allowed to visit the site but not to pray at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Israeli riot police said that hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators started gathering piles of stones inside the mosque compound in retaliation. Israeli riot police further said its forces had to enter the compound to remove the demonstrators and re-establish peace at the site. The police said they had arrested 18 Palestinians for causing the latest riot. Last year, repetitive violence against Palestinian worshipers at the al-Aqsa Mosque led to an 11-day war between Palestine and the Israeli regime.

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