Israel launches air strikes on Gaza, as rockets fired after deadly Jenin raid
Israel launched air strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip at dawn on Friday, after rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave following one of the deadliest Israeli raids on the occupied West Bank in recent years.
Israeli warplanes fired 15 missiles on a site in al-Maghazi refugee camp, in the centre of the enclave, causing damage to property and resulting in a power outage in the area, Wafa news agency reported.
Warplanes also destroyed and set fire to two other sites, in the north and southeast, according to the agency.
It followed rockets being fired from Gaza towards Israel on Thursday night and into Friday morning.
Before midnight, two rockets fired from the enclave were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome missile defence system, Haaretz reported.
At around 4am, three more rockets were fired from the enclave, one of which was intercepted by the Iron Dome, while the others fell in Gaza and in an open area in southern Israel.
The leader of the Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza claimed responsibility for the rockets during a rally in the enclave on Friday.
There were no immediate reports of injuries on either side.
“The terrorist organisations in the Gaza Strip suffered a blow tonight from IDF fire in a series of attacks,” Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant tweeted.
“I instructed our security forces to prepare for action with a variety of offensive measures and high-quality targets, in case it is necessary to continue to act until peace is restored to the citizens of Israel.”
'Massacre' in Jenin
The attack comes a day after a deadly Israeli raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank killed nine Palestinians and wounded 20 others.
Several heavily armed soldiers entered the camp on Thursday morning, targeting a building used as a meeting place for residents.
"What happened to them is a crime against humanity,” Osama Mansour, 55, a local activist in Jenin, told MEE. “It’s a multi-faceted crime that not only includes killing our children but attacking civilians and destroying Palestinian property.”
Later on Thursday, another Palestinian was killed as Israeli forces fired at demonstrators in the town of al-Ram, north of Jerusalem, who had come out to protest against the killings.
A three-day national state of mourning, which began on Friday, was declared by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who described the raid on Jenin as "a massacre from the Israeli occupation government in the shadow of international silence".
Abbas’s government also announced it would be stopping its controversial policy of security coordination with Israel in response to the killings.
The latest fatalities bring the number of Palestinians killed this year to 30, including at least six children.
According to data compiled by Middle East Eye, Israeli forces killed more Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in 2022 than in any single calendar year since the Second Intifada.
At least 220 people died in Israeli attacks across the occupied territories in 2022, including 48 children. Of the total death toll, 167 were from the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and 53 were from the Gaza Strip.
55 of those killed in the West Bank last year were in Jenin - the highest of any region in occupied Palestine.
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