Israel strikes Gaza after rocket fire during US ceremony
Publish- September 16, 2020, 08:03 PM
AP/UNB - AP/UNB
Israeli police inspect the damage at the site hit by a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip in the southern city of Ashdod, Israel, Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020. Photo: AP
The Israeli military struck Hamas militant sites in the Gaza Strip early Wednesday in response to rocket fire toward Israel the previous night that coincided with the signing of normalization agreements between Israel and two Arab countries at the White House.
The barrage against Israel began Tuesday night just as the ceremony in Washington was getting underway to formalize the new agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Two Israelis were lightly wounded.
The military said five projectiles landed in open areas with the rest intercepted by Israel’s rocket defense system.
In response, the military said it struck about 10 sites belonging to Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers, including a weapons and explosives manufacturing factory, underground infrastructure and a military training compound.
The renewed exchange offered a stark reminder that the festive events in Washington would likely do little to change Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians.
The bilateral agreements signed by Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, all three signed a document dubbed the “Abraham Accords” after the patriarch of the world’s three major monotheistic religions.
The Palestinians are opposed to the agreements viewing them as a betrayal of their cause by the Arab countries.
Neither President Donald Trump nor Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu mentioned the Palestinians in their remarks at the signing ceremony, but both the UAE and Bahraini foreign ministers spoke of the importance of creating a Palestinian state.
The Islamic militant group Hamas has ruled Gaza since 2007, when it seized power from the internationally-backed Palestinian Authority. Israel and Egypt have imposed a crippling blockade on the coastal territory since then.
Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and several smaller skirmishes since 2007.