Israel says rocket fired from Gaza intercepted as tensions mount


The Israeli military says the rocket fired from the besieged Gaza Strip was intercepted as tensions mount over Israeli attacks on a holy site in occupied East Jerusalem.

A rocket fired from the besieged Gaza Strip into southern Israel has been intercepted, the Israeli military has said, in the first such attack in months amid mounting tensions over a holy site in occupied East Jerusalem.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage Monday, and no Palestinian group has claimed responsibility for the missile, which Israel says was shot down by its Iron Dome interceptor fighter.

Hamas, the Palestinian group that controls the coastal enclave, had warned that any incidents on the grounds of the Al-Aqsa mosque would constitute a “red line” after Israeli forces invaded the site in East Jerusalem several times in recent days, hundreds of Palestinians were arrested, leaving dozens injured.

Palestinians accuse Israel of invading Al-Aqsa during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. Israel says Palestinian protesters are trying to disrupt Muslim prayer for political purposes and prevent visits from Jews celebrating Passover.

The site is revered by Muslims and Jews. Israeli police have said they are committed to ensuring that members of all faiths can safely celebrate the holidays.

Prior to the rocket attack, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett accused Hamas of conducting a “wild campaign of intimidation” against Israel.

Egypt and Jordan, which signed peace agreements with Israel decades ago and coordinated with Israel on security matters, have condemned the actions of Israeli forces on the ground.

Jordan — which acts as custodian of the site — summoned Israel’s deputy charge d’affaires to Amman on Monday in protest.

Jordanian King Abdullah II said on Monday that Israel’s “unilateral” actions against Muslim worshipers at the Al-Aqsa mosque seriously undermined the prospects for peace in the region, state media said.

The monarch spoke to United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres when he made comments blaming Israel for “provocative acts” at the mosque that violated the “legal and historical status quo” of the holy shrines.

At least 152 Palestinians were injured by Israeli police at the mosque complex on Friday, the latest outbreak of a flare-up of violence that has raised fears that the conflict will slide back into a wider one.

Israeli forces’ crackdown on protesters who demonstrated last year against attempts to forcibly evict Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood sparked an escalation in violence between Israel and Hamas fighters in Gaza .

Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher al-Khasawneh on Monday praised members of the Islamic Waqf, the trust that oversees the Al-Aqsa Mosque, “who stands firm and those who throw stones at the pro-Zionists who destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” pollute. while under the security of the Israeli occupation government.”

Commenting on al-Khasawneh’s comments, Bennett said: “This is unacceptable to us. This is a reward for the instigators, especially Hamas, who are trying to foment violence in Jerusalem.”

Israel has spent the past year trying to improve relations with Jordan and has recently normalized relations with other Arab states over their shared concerns about Iran.

But a recent wave of violence that killed 25 Palestinians and 14 Israelis has drawn renewed attention to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, which it has sought to sideline in recent years.

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