According to witnesses, Israel conducted an air raid in the central Gaza Strip for the second time this week, with the military claiming that its fighter jets hit an underground complex used to manufacture rocket engines.
The raids began just after dawn on Thursday. There were no reports of casualties at the time.
According to witnesses, the attacks damaged numerous homes in central Gaza’s al-Bureij refugee camp.
Earlier in the night, an Israeli police spokesperson said, a rocket fired from Gaza struck southern Israel, inflicting minor damage to a house but no injuries. The Israeli military said four further rockets were fired from Gaza in response to its assaults on the embattled coastal enclave but were intercepted by air defense systems.
There has been no claim of responsibility for the rocket launches by any Palestinian faction.
Hamas, the group that governs Gaza, said in a statement that Israel’s bombardment will only strengthen the Palestinian will to “fight the occupation and increase their support for Jerusalem and its people.”
The confrontations come on the heels of over a month of deadly conflict in Israel and Palestine, centered on Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque site, dubbed the Temple Mount by Jews.
Israeli police entered the compound early Thursday and fired tear gas and rubber bullets at worshipers, prompting Palestinian youngsters to reply with petrol bombs, according to Palestinian media.
Israeli police reported that dozens of rioters hurled stones and petrol bombs from the mosque, stating that “a violent breakaway group is preventing Muslim worshipers from entering the mosque and committing property damage.”
Seven Palestinians, all of the inhabitants of occupied East Jerusalem, were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of involvement in “violent episodes,” the statement claimed.