A missile from Israel's Iron Dome air defense system, designed to intercept and destroy incoming short-range rockets and artillery shells, lights the sky in the central Gaza Strip on April 21, 2022. SAID KHATIB AFP GAZA Israel carried out air strikes in central Gaza before dawn on Thursday after a rocket launched from the Palestinian territory landed in Israel, Hamas officials and Israeli military sources said.
There were two training camps used by Hamas, the Islamist group that oversees the blockaded enclave, and no casualties were reported, witnesses said.
Israeli military forces said in a statement that Israeli war planes struck a security post and part of an underground site used to produce rocket engines.
A rocket fired from Gaza struck southern Israel earlier in the day, causing minor damage to a house but no injuries, police said. No faction claimed responsibility for what is the second such attack in a long time.
An upsurge of violence in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories has raised fears of a slide back to wider conflict. Israeli forces have killed 29 Palestinians in West Bank raids since March, and a series of deadly Arab street attacks have killed 14 people in Israel.
Hamas said Israel's bombing will only encourage Palestinians to resist the occupation and step up their support for Jerusalem and its people Confrontations in Jerusalem's Old City - particularly at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, known as Temple Mount - poses the risk of a broader conflagration like last year's 11-day Israel-Gaza war, in which more than 250 Palestinians and 13 people were killed in Gaza.
Tensions this year have been heightened in part due to the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, coinciding with the Jewish celebration of Passover. Palestinians say Israel is violating a centuries-old policy by which non-Muslims may visit but not pray by allowing more Jewish worshippers into the sacred compound. Israeli leaders have said they are ensuring the freedom of worship for all religions in Jerusalem.
Al - Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam and is revered by Jews as the site of two ancient temples.
Palestinians want East Jerusalem, including its Muslim, Christian and Jewish holy sites, to be the capital of a future state. Israel, which annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally after capturing the area in a 1967 war, regards all of Jerusalem as its eternal capital.