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Israel targets Gaza with airstrikes after intercepting rocket attack

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Israel targets Gaza with airstrikes

Israel carried out airstrikes in Gaza early Thursday after intercepting a rocket attack from the coastal enclave, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said.

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In a post on Twitter, the IDF said Israeli warplanes had targeted a chemical production site and a weapons factory belonging to Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that rules Gaza.

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“The IDF holds Hamas responsible for all terrorist activity emanating from Gaza and it will have to face the consequences of security breaches against Israel,” the IDF wrote.

On Wednesday, the IDF reported that a rocket fired from Gaza was intercepted by the IDF’s air defense network.

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On Thursday it released two videos of the airstrikes, filmed in black and white, which showed huge plumes of black smoke in the air and debris falling to the ground.

It is not known if there were any casualties.

The official Palestinian News & Information Agency reported that F-16 fighter jets launched at least five missiles at a “site” in the central Gaza Strip, setting it on fire and damaging nearby homes. Two missiles also hit farmland in the central area, he added.

The strike comes after a period of bloodshed on both sides. Last Thursday, Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians and injured several others in the West Bank city of Jenin, the deadliest day for Palestinians in the occupied West Bank in nearly two years. This was followed by a shooting near a Jerusalem synagogue on Friday night, which Israel called one of its worst terror attacks in years.

It also follows US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to Israel and the West Bank this week, which some hoped would help ease rising tensions.

The Biden administration has been cautious in its language and has sought to publicly avoid criticizing Israel’s new government, which is led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and includes controversial far-right ministers.

On Wednesday, Blinken reiterated the administration’s goal of a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians, and said the United States “will continue to oppose anything that makes that goal more remote.” .

Last year was the deadliest for Palestinians in the West Bank and for Israelis in nearly two decades, a CNN analysis of official statistics from both sides showed.

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