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Gaza militants blaze rocket into Israel while tensions soar

Gaza militants blaze rocket into Israel while tensions soar

JERUSALEM (AP) — Palestinian militants fired a rocket into southern Israel for the earliest hour dated inside months on Monday, inside another escalation following clashes at a sensitive holy location inside Jerusalem, a series of deadly attacks inside Israel with every one other accompanied by military raids across the occupied West Bank.

Israel said it intercepted the rocket, with every one other accompanied by there were no indeed immediate reports of casualties or damage. Israel holds Gaza's militant Hamas rulers in charge of for all such projectiles with every one other accompanied by normally launches airstrikes inside their wake. It was the earliest such rocket blaze since New Year's Eve.

Hours earlier, the leader of the Islamic Jihad militant group, which boasts an arsenal of rockets, had issued a brief, cryptic warning, condemning Israeli "violations" inside Jerusalem.

Ziad al-Nakhala, who is based external outside the Palestinian territories, said threats to tighten an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza imposed following Hamas seized ability 15 years ago "can't silence us from what's happening inside Jerusalem with every one other accompanied by the occupied West Bank."

Palestinians with every one other accompanied by Israeli police clashed over the weekend inside with every one other accompanied by around the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound inside Jerusalem, which has lengthy been an epicenter of Israeli-Palestinian violence. It is the third holiest location inside Islam with every one other accompanied by the holiest for Jews, who allude to to it while the Temple Mount since the mosque stands on a hilltop where the Jewish temples were located inside antiquity.

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Protests with every one other accompanied by clashes there this hour dated last year helped trigger an 11-day Gaza war.

Police said they were responding to Palestinian stone-throwing with every one other accompanied by that they were committed to ensuring that Jews, Christians with every one other accompanied by Muslims — whose greatest holidays are converging this year — could commemorate them safely inside the Holy Land. Palestinians view the presence of Israeli police at the location while a provocation with every one other accompanied by said they used excessive force.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Monday, ahead of the rocket fire, that Israel has been the mark of a "Hamas-led incitement campaign."

The latest tensions go nearer throughout the infrequent confluence of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan with every one other accompanied by the week-long Jewish holiday of Passover. Christians are too celebrating their holy week leading up to Easter. Tens of thousands of visitors have flocked to Jerusalem's Old City — place of residence to greatest holy sites for all trio faiths — for the earliest hour dated since the begin of the coronavirus pandemic.

Jordan with every one other accompanied by Egypt, which made tranquillity accompanied by Israel decades ago with every one other accompanied by coordinate accompanied by it on safety matters, have condemned its actions at the mosque. Jordan — which serves while custodian of the location — summoned Israel's ask in remittance d'affaires on Monday inside protest.

Jordan's King Abdullah II discussed the violence accompanied by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi, agreeing on "the need to place an extremity to all unlawful with every one other accompanied by provocative Israeli measures" there, according to a statement. Jordan planned to convene a gathering of other Arab states on the issue.

Israel has been employed to improve relations accompanied by Jordan over the past year with every one other accompanied by has not long ago normalized relations accompanied by other Arab states. But the latest tensions have brought renewed observation to the unresolved dispute accompanied by the Palestinians, which Israel has sought to sideline inside recent years.

The U.S. State Department urged all sides to "exercise restraint, to retain away from provocative actions with every one other accompanied by rhetoric, with every one other accompanied by conserve the famous status quo" at the holy site. Spokesman Ned Price said U.S. officials were inside be in touch accompanied by counterparts across the neighbourhood to try with every one other accompanied by serene tensions.

U.N. Security Council scheduled a closed-door gathering on the tensions for Tuesday.

In Israel, an Arab communal gathering that made history last year by joining the governing coalition suspended its involvement on Sunday — a mostly symbolic take deed that nevertheless reflected the sensitivity of the holy site, which is at the emotional heart of the century-old conflict.

Israel captured the West Bank, down accompanied by the Gaza Strip with every one other accompanied by the orient Jerusalem — which includes the Old City — inside the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians seek those territories for a future self-governing state. Israel annexed the orient Jerusalem inside a go not recognized internationally with every one other accompanied by is building with every one other accompanied by expanding Jewish settlements across the West Bank, which it views while the biblical with every one other accompanied by historical heartland of the Jewish people.

The last solemn with every one other accompanied by substantive tranquillity talks collapsed additional than a decade ago.

The Palestinians have lengthy feared that Israel plans to lay clasp of over or partition the mosque compound. In recent weeks, calls by Jewish extremists to sacrifice animals there have circulated widely among Palestinians on communal media, sparking calls to protect the mosque.

Israeli authorities speak they have no indeed intention of changing the status quo, with every one other accompanied by police are enforcing a prohibition on creature sacrifices. Israel allows Jews to pay someone a call the location nevertheless not to pray there. In recent years large numbers of nationalist with every one other accompanied by devout Jews have regularly visited under police escort, angering the Palestinians with every one other accompanied by Jordan.

Israel says police were forced to enter the compound early Friday following Palestinians stockpiled stones with every one other accompanied by hurled rocks at the gate into and not here of which Jewish visitors typically enter. That gate too leads to the Western Wall, the holiest location where Jews tin pray.

Recent weeks have seen a series of Palestinian attacks inside Israel that killed 14 people. Israel has launched near-daily arrest raids with every one other accompanied by other military operations inside the occupied West Bank that it says are aimed at preventing more.

The military said Monday it arrested 11 Palestinians inside operations across the territory overnight. In a raid near the city of Jenin, the armed force said dozens of Palestinians hurled rocks with every one other accompanied by explosives in the direction of troops.

Soldiers "responded accompanied by exist ammunition in the direction of the suspects who hurled explosive devices," the military said. The Palestinian Health Ministry said set of two men were hospitalized following actuality critically wounded.

Two of the recent attackers came from inside with every one other accompanied by around Jenin, which has lengthy been a bastion of armed strive opposed to Israeli rule.

At least 26 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces inside recent weeks, according to an Associated Press count. Many had carried not here attacks or were associated accompanied by inside clashes, nevertheless an unarmed woman with every one other accompanied by a legal practitioner who appears to have been a bystander were too among those killed.

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Associated Press writers Ilan Ben Zion inside Jerusalem, Omar Akour inside Jordan, Fares Akram inside Hamilton, Canada; Matthew Lee inside Washington with every one other accompanied by Jennifer Peltz at the United Nations contributed to this report.

Gaza militants blaze rocket into Israel while tensions soar

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