Israeli warplanes strike Gaza after rocket attack

Published April 22, 2022
Flames and smoke rise during Israeli airstrikes on central Gaza strip in on April 21, 2022. — AFP
Flames and smoke rise during Israeli airstrikes on central Gaza strip in on April 21, 2022. — AFP

GAZA: Israel carried out air strikes in central Gaza before dawn on Thursday after a rocket launched from the Palestinian territory landed in Israel, Hamas officials and Israeli military sources said.

Two training camps used by Hamas, the group that rules the blockaded enclave, were hit, and no casualties were reported, witnesses said.

Israeli war planes struck a security post and part of an underground site used to produce rocket engines, the Israeli military said in a statement.

Earlier, a rocket fired from Gaza struck southern Israel, causing slight damage to a house but no injuries, police said. No faction claimed responsibility for what is the second such attack in days.

In a statement, Hamas said Israel’s bombing will only encourage Palestinians to “resist the occupation and step up their support for Jerusalem and its people”.

Meanwhile, the Arab League called on Israel on Thursday to end Jewish prayers inside the compound of Islam’s third holiest shrine in East Jerusalem, warning it was a flagrant affront to Muslim feelings that could trigger wider conflict.

They said while Israel was restricting the right of worship of Muslims in Jerusalem’s Old City, ultra-nationalist Jews under police protection were being allowed at the height of the Muslim fasting month of Ramazan to enter the Al Aqsa mosque compound.

“Our demands are clear that Al Aqsa and Haram al Sharif in all its area is a sole place of worship for Muslims,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman al Safadi told reporters alongside the Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit after an emergency meeting in Amman on the matter.

Gheit said Israel was violating centuries-old policy according to which non-Muslims may visit the Al Aqsa compound, Islam’ s third most sacred site after Makkah and Medina, but not pray there.

Published in Dawn, April 22nd, 2022

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