Israel hits militant in Gaza …after rockets fired following deadly raid

Israel has carried out air strikes on Gaza in response to rocket fire as tensions soar in the wake of a deadly army raid in the occupied West Bank.

Six rockets were fired, reports from Israel say, with Israel attacking what it said were militant sites.

There were no reports of injuries on either side.

Militants warned of a response after nine Palestinians were killed in the Jenin raid, which Israel said was to thwart “imminent terrorist attacks”.

Two rockets were fired around midnight (22:00 GMT Thursday) but were intercepted by Israel’s anti-rocket Iron Dome system, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said.

Air strikes swiftly followed, targeting what the IDF said was an “underground rocket manufactur­ing site” in the central Gaza Strip belonging to the Islamist militant group, Hamas, which governs the territory.

A second salvo of rockets was fired hours later, landing in open ground, shot down or falling back down in Gaza, the military said. Israel subsequently hit a site which it said was “a significant centre of Hamas terrorist activities” in the northern Gaza Strip.

A leader of the militant Palestin­ian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza said the group had fired the rockets. Isra­el’s policy is to hold Hamas respon­sible for all attacks from there.

The overnight exchange followed the deadliest incident of its kind in years after Israeli forces entered the West Bank city of Jenin to arrest a PIJ “terror squad”.

The IDF said it was acting on “precise intelligence” about plans by the cell to attack Israelis.

Forces surrounded a building in the city’s urban refugee camp where an intense gun battle erupted. Israel said three armed suspects were “neutralised” after they opened fire, while a fourth suspect surrendered. —BBC

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