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Israeli warplanes attack Gaza Strip after retaliatory rockets following Jenin raid

Smoke and flames rise during an Israeli air attack in the Gaza Strip on July 5, 2023. (Photo by Reuters)

Israel has carried out a round of airstrikes against the Gaza Strip after Palestinian resistance fighters launched a volley of rockets from the besieged coastal enclave toward the occupied territories over the regime’s military aggression on the Jenin refugee camp in West Bank.

The Israeli army claimed in a statement that warplanes struck “an underground weapons workshop used by the chemical unit of Hamas [resistance movement] and a site for processing rocket components.”

Palestinian news sources reported that Israel’s air force hit targets near al-Baydar, west of Gaza City and in Beit Lahia town in the north of the Strip. Local sources said at least three air strikes hit locations in the town. There were no initial reports about the extent of damage or possible casualties.

Palestinian media quoted a security source as saying that the air attacks hit a Hamas military site in northern Gaza, but caused no injuries.

A salvo of five rockets was launched from the Gaza Strip at the southern part of the 1948-occupied territories in the early hours of Wednesday morning, in what was a response by resistance groups to a deadly Israeli army raid in the West Bank city of Jenin.

At least 11 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces over the last two days.

The Israeli army claimed that its Iron Dome anti-missile system managed to knock down the missiles fired out of Gaza toward the city of Sderot and nearby areas. There were no reports of injuries in the rocket attack.

Moreover, the Israeli military has confirmed that one of its soldiers was killed by gunfire during confrontations with Palestinian fighters in Jenin on Tuesday evening.

“A non-commissioned officer in combat service was killed by live fire during the operation … in the Jenin Camp this evening,” the Israeli military posted on Twitter.

On Tuesday evening, Israeli forces stormed Khalil Suleiman Governmental Hospital in Jenin. The Palestinian Ministry of Health said Israeli forces opened fire in the hospital, injuring at least three Palestinians.

The director of the hospital, Wissam Bakr, told WAFA news agency that Israeli troops fired live bullets and stun grenades at medical staff, journalists, patients and citizens in the hospital.

Israeli forces also raided Ibn Sina Specialized Hospital in Jenin. 

Five civilians were injured by Israeli forces during confrontations with Palestinians at the entrance to the village of Kafr Dan, located 8 kilometers (4.9 miles) northwest of Jenin in the northern West Bank. 

Israeli troops finally pulled back from Jenin on Tuesday evening following a 44-hour-long incursion.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors on Friday to discuss the Middle East, following Israel’s biggest West Bank military operation in years.

The meeting was requested by the United Arab Emirates “in light of the alarming developments in Palestine,” diplomats said.

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