Hamas launched rockets at Jerusalem on Monday evening as thousands of Israelis celebrated Jerusalem Day, according to reports.
The group, which has been the de facto administrator of the Gaza Strip since 2007, threatened earlier today to punish Israel for violent clashes with the Palestinians.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) sent reinforcements, closed roads and postponed a planned exercise as tensions mounted. Bomb shelters have been opened in Ashkelon and Kiryat Melachi, which border the Gaza region.
The IDF claimed seven rockets were fired at the capital and one was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the Jerusalem Post reported.
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An IDF spokesman said the attacks “will not go smoothly.”
“Hamas will feel our response to this event,” Brig said. General Hidai Zilberman, who called the events “inexcusable”. “We have a number of options on the table.”
Israel responded on Monday with airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, killing nine Palestinians, including three children, Reuters reported. The IDF has not made any statement about its action.
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Hamas claimed that the rocket attacks were a response to “Israeli crimes and aggressions against the holy city”.
Palestinians and Israeli police clashed on Friday in the grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a major holy place for Muslims and Jews.
The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said 136 people were injured in clashes with police there and elsewhere in Jerusalem, including 83 hospitalized.
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Earlier on Friday, Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians and injured a third after the men opened fire on a base belonging to the Israeli paramilitary border police in the occupied West Bank, the latest in a series of Deadly clashes in recent weeks which coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
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