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Israel launches airstrikes on Gaza in response to rocket firing

Jerusalem: Israel on Wednesday carried out intensive airstrikes on military facilities in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired from the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Jerusalem: Israel on Wednesday carried out intensive airstrikes on military facilities in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets fired from the besieged Palestinian enclave.

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Security sources in Gaza said that the airstrikes targeted two military posts of the Hamas in the southwest and central Gaza Strip, reports Xinhua news agency.

The posts suffered severe damage with no injuries reported.

Earlier in the day, militants in the Gaza Strip fired nine rockets at Israel in response to clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem and some other neighbourhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Four of the rockets were intercepted by its air defence system and another four landed in open areas.

There were no reports of casualties on either side.

The clashes erupted on Tuesday night after the Palestinians barricaded themselves in the mosque after the evening Ramadan prayers, amid reports that Jewish extremists wanted to try to sacrifice a Passover goat at the site — as Jews did in Biblical times before the Romans destroyed their temple there.

Israeli police have said that 350 people were arrested in a pre-dawn raid on Wednesday after what they called “agitators” with fireworks, sticks and stones shut themselves inside, reports the BBC.

Meanwhile, Palestinians said stun grenades and rubber bullets were used to clear out the group and that 14 people were hurt.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, known to Jews as the most sacred site, is regarded by Muslims as their third holiest site.

The holy site has been administered by the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf, a Jordanian body, since 1948.

Under a 1967 agreement between Israel and Jordan, non-Muslim worshippers can visit the compound but are prohibited from praying there.

In April 2022, the mosque compound witnessed violent clashes between Palestinian worshipers and Israeli police forces when Jews visited the holy site.

This latest incident comes amid growing tensions between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem that have been going on since the beginning of this year.

At least 89 Palestinians, including women and children, have been killed since January, while 15 Israelis were killed in a series of attacks in the same period of time, according to official figures.

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