Israel bombed the Gaza Strip on Wednesday in retaliation for rockets fired from the Palestinian enclave, hours after the signing of normalization agreements in Washington with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
The Israeli army reported a series of 13 rockets on Wednesday morning, in addition to two on Tuesday night, fired from the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian enclave of 2 million people under Hamas control, and subjected to an Israeli blockade. Of the total of the 15 projectiles, nine were intercepted.
Following the attacks and reprisals, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Palestinian Hamas movement issued warnings.
“I am not surprised that the Palestinian terrorists fired at Israel right at the time of this historic ceremony. They want to prevent peace, but they will not succeed,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he embarked for his flight back from Washington. .
“We will attack all those who try to harm us, and we will extend a hand of peace to all those who reach out to us to make peace,” he added.
For its part, the Islamist movement warned Israel against this new military escalation.
“The occupying force will pay the price for any aggression against our peoples or places of resistance,” declared the armed wing of Hamas, which promised to “increase its response as” the Hebrew state “persists in its aggression.”
The first rockets were launched on Tuesday night towards Israeli territory on the occasion of the signing, in Washington, of the agreements to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain; followed early Wednesday morning by new shots and Israeli bombardments, according to those sources.
In the Gaza Strip, security sources and witnesses reported Israeli bombardments against the enclave.
The Israeli army indicated that, in a series of bombings, “fighter jets” and “helicopters” targeted Hamas targets, such as “a weapons and explosives manufacturing factory”, “a complex used to launch rockets” and a ” underground infrastructure “.
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– Agreements in Washington –
On Tuesday night, one of the two rockets hit the city of Ashdod, located between Gaza and Tel Aviv, according to local aid services, causing at least two minor injuries.
The shots coincided with the signing ceremony, at the White House, of the agreements to normalize relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
In Washington, US President Donald Trump referred to a “new Middle East” and Netanyahu considered that the agreements could “end the Arab-Israeli conflict once and for all.”
But Islamic Jihad, the Gaza Strip’s second armed group after Hamas, said in a statement, released shortly after the rocket fire, that those “unjust” agreements would “push” the “resistance forces to continue. jihad. ”
“There will be no peace, security or stability for anyone in the region without the end of the occupation and (without) respect for the full rights of the Palestinian people,” said the leader of the Palestinian Authority, which governs the occupied West Bank. , Mahmud Abas, in a statement.
The Hamas movement, in power in Gaza since 2007, multiplied the launching of incendiary balloons in August and fired several rockets from the enclave towards Israel, which it replied with nightly bombardments against positions of the armed group.
However, both sides reached an agreement in September, thanks to the mediation of Qatar, to cease hostilities and re-channel a fragile truce that has been in force for about a year and a half.
Palestinian factions called demonstrations on Tuesday to denounce the normalization agreements, but only several hundred people participated, both in the occupied West Bank and in Gaza, according to AFP teams.
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