Daily Bangla Times :
Published : 2023-04-08 02:28:12
Daily Bangla Times: Israeli warplanes strike besieged Gaza, Lebanon following Al Aqsa raidsSmoke and flames rise after Israeli warplanes launch air strikes on the central part of Gaza, on April 7, 2023. [Photo Collected]
The Israeli military has struck besieged Gaza and southern Lebanon following a day of rocket fire from the Palestinian territory and from Lebanon in reaction to Israel's back-to-back military incursions into the Al Aqsa Mosque — Islam's third-holiest site.
Hamas, which governs the tiny coastal strip of Gaza, said several air strikes had been carried out in the blockaded enclave early on Friday. There were no immediate reports of casualties from the strikes.
''The IDF is currently striking in Gaza,'' the Israel Defense Forces said on Twitter.
Israeli military said air-raid sirens were sounded in southern Israel, signaling renewed rocket fire from Gaza.
Later, at least three explosions were heard in Lebanon's Tyre region, as Israel's military said it was carrying out strikes there.
"At least two shells fell near" a Palestinian refugee camp near Tyre city, said camp resident Abu Ahmad, who told the AFP news agency he "heard explosions".
Two Lebanese security sources said the strike hit a small structure on farmland near the area from which the rockets had been launched earlier. They had no reports of casualties.
In a separate statement, Hamas said, "We strongly condemn the blatant Zionist aggression against Lebanon in the vicinity of Tyre at dawn today".
Israeli military said it will not allow Hamas to operate from within Lebanon and "holds the state of Lebanon responsible for every directed fire emanating from its territory," it said in a statement.
The UN peacekeepers — deployed in southern Lebanon to buffer the two countries — called on "all parties to cease all actions" on both sides of the border.
Türkiye lashes out at Israel
The attacks came shortly after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised a strong response to rockets, pushing the powder keg region closer to a wider conflagration.
"We will hit our enemies and they will pay a price for all acts of aggression," Netanyahu said in a televised address.
Israel's army said it had "identified 34 rockets that were fired from Lebanese territory into Israeli territory" — the largest escalation along the frontier since Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in 2006.
Twenty-five rockets were intercepted by Israeli air defences, while "five rockets landed in Israeli territory," added the army statement. The attack was not immediately claimed by any group.
Türkiye lashed out at Israel, demanding it immediately put an end to the policy of violence "that it has been deliberately pursuing for days."
"We condemn Israel's unlawful and immoral attacks on Gaza. Our support to our Palestinian brothers and sisters will continue. This persecution will surely end!" Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said.
Lebanon's caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati said he rejected any "escalation" from his country after the rocket attack.
The barrage came after Israeli troops drew widespread condemnation from around the region for targeting worshippers twice on Wednesday inside occupied East Jerusalem's Al Aqsa Mosque.
According to the Lebanon report, Israeli artillery fired "several shells from its positions on the border" towards the outskirts of two villages after the launch of "several Katyusha type rockets" at Israel.
Powder keg situation
Tensions have been running high in Israel-occupied East Jerusalem after Israeli forces stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque for the second time on Wednesday after arresting hundreds of Palestinians during the first raid.
The raids came as Palestinian Muslims were offering special Ramadan prayers at Al Aqsa, which prompted Palestinian groups in besieged Gaza to launch rocket attacks in retaliation.
During the second raid, Israeli forces reportedly tossed stun grenades and forced Muslim worshippers to leave.
The incidents have drawn widespread condemnation from Muslim countries with Jordan on Wednesday calling for an extraordinary meeting of the Arab League to discuss the developments.
Iran has called for an emergency session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation [OIC] on the situation in Palestine in the wake of incursions and raids by Israeli forces.
Violence emanating from decades of Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands has intensified since the new government of veteran Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took power in December, a coalition with extreme right and ultra-Orthodox Jewish parties.
So far this year, the Israeli occupation has claimed the lives of more than 90 Palestinians. Some15 Israelis and one Ukrainian have also died.
Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It vacated from Gaza in 2005 and has since imposed a harsh blockade from land, air and sea on the tiny Palestinian enclave.
Over 700,000 illegal Israeli settlers now live in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.
Source: TRT World