Air raid sirens sound in Israel after Gaza fires rocket
(Sourced from PTI)
Air raid sirens sounded in southern Israel on Monday after a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip, the first since the 11-day war between Israel and Palestinian militants in May. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire. It came hours after Israeli troops clashed with Palestinian gunmen during a late-night arrest raid in the occupied West Bank.
Four Palestinians were killed in one of the deadliest battles in the area in years. The Israeli military said it identified one rocket launch intercepted by aerial defense batteries. Amateur video footage appeared to show the rocket being intercepted over the southern town of Sderot.
The rocket fire could jeopardize three months of relative calm since Israel and the militant group Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip struck a cease-fire. In the clashes earlier, fighting erupted in Jenin, a city in the northern West Bank where tensions have been high since a man was killed in fighting with Israel earlier this month.
Israel's paramilitary border police said its forces were attempting to arrest a suspect when they came under heavy fire from close range by a number of gunmen. It said Israeli forces returned fire, and none of its officers were injured. The official Palestinian news agency, WAFA, said four men were killed by Israeli fire and a fifth was seriously wounded.
Amateur footage from the scene appeared to show an intense exchange of gunfire in the streets of Jenin. Senior Palestinian official Hussein Al Sheikh accused Israel of a heinous crime and tweeted that the international community should be ashamed of its silence about this and its failure to provide protection to the Palestinian people from this oppression.
During the second Palestinian uprising in early 2000s, Jenin experienced some heaviest fighting with Israel, though the area has been quiet in recent years. According to the Israeli military, there have been at least eight clashes between troops and Palestinian gunmen over past two months.
The West Bank experienced an uptick in deadly violence in recent months, with over two dozen Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in recent weeks, including children and Palestinian protesters. Israel's war in May in Gaza Strip, driven by friction in Jerusalem, attempts by a settler group to evict Palestinians in east Jerusalem, and establishment of West Bank settlement outpost have contributed to the tensions.