After the rocket attacks, the IDF struck back at targets in Gaza operated by the ruling Hamas terror group.
By Associated Press
Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired some three dozen rockets into Israel overnight Saturday, while the Israeli military struck back at targets operated by the ruling Hamas group. The exchange came as tensions in Jerusalem spilled over into the worst round of cross-border violence in months.
The barrage of rocket fire came as hundreds of Palestinians rioted in Jerusalem, clashing with Israeli police. At least four police and six protesters were injured.
The riots have become a nightly occurrence throughout the month of Ramadan and show no signs of stopping.
The Israeli military said a total of 36 rockets were fired into Israel throughout the night. It said six rockets were intercepted, while most of the others landed in open areas. There were no reports of injuries or serious damage, but the incoming rocket fire set off air-raid sirens throughout southern Israel.
The military imposed limits on outdoor gatherings in southern Israel early Saturday but lifted the restrictions several hours later and allowed people to resume their normal routines.
Israel and Hamas, an Islamic terror group sworn to Israel’s destruction, are bitter enemies that have fought three wars and numerous skirmishes since Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 after a bloody battle with rival Palestinian factions.
Although neither side appears to have an interest in escalating tensions, Hamas may feel obligated to act ahead of upcoming Palestinian parliamentary elections.
At dawn, hundreds of people in Gaza challenged nightly curfews imposed by Hamas to curb the coronavirus outbreak and took to the streets in an act of solidarity with fellow Palestinians in Jerusalem, burning tires.
The Palestinians want Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, to be the capital of their future state.
Palestinians have clashed with Israeli police on a nightly basis since the start of the month of Ramadan nearly two weeks ago.
The clashes intensified Thursday evening when hundreds of Palestinians hurled stones and bottles at police, who fired a water cannon and stun grenades to disperse them.
At the same time, a Jewish group known as Lahava led a march of hundreds of protesters chanting “Arabs get out!” toward the Damascus Gate. The group, led by a disciple of the late rabbi Meir Kahane, is allied with elements of a far-right party elected to Israel’s parliament last month.
The show of force came in response to videos circulated on TikTok showing Palestinians slapping religious Jews at random. After keeping them a few hundred yards (meters) away from Damascus Gate, police used water cannon, stun grenades and mounted police to push Israeli protesters back toward Jewish areas of Jerusalem.
In all, police said 44 people were arrested and 20 officers were injured.