Gaza militants fire dozens of rockets into Israel

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired dozens of rockets into Israel early Saturday, the Israeli military said, triggering retaliatory airstrikes amid rising tensions.

At least one Palestinian, 22-year-old Emad Nassir, was killed in the airstrikes and six others were injured amid the shelling, Gaza’s Health Ministry said, according to the Associated Press. Militants fired more than 90 rockets into Israel, the AP reported, while the Israeli military said it targeted rocket launchers and Hamas posts in tit-for-tat air strikes and tank fire.

Reuters reported that the escalation began Friday after two Israeli soldiers were injured by Gaza gunfire near the border. An Israeli air strike later killed two Hamas militants. Two Palestinians protesting near the border were killed by Israeli soldiers.

The Palestinian Education Ministry announced it was evacuating schools in areas at risk of being attacked.

The violence comes days before Muslims begin observing the holy month of Ramadan and Israelis celebrate Independence Day. The flare-up prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call together his security council.

Hamas spokesman Abdel-Latif al-Qanoua said the group would “continue to respond to the crimes by the occupation and it will not allow it to shed the blood of our people,” though Hamas, the Islamist group that governs Gaza, did not claim responsibility for firing the rockets.

Hamas said Thursday its Gaza chief, Yeyha Al-Sinwar had traveled to Egypt for talks to try to prevent hostilities from escalating on the border.

Israel and Hamas have waged three wars since the armed group took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007.
Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher is the editor and publisher of High Plains Pundit. Dan is also the host of the popular High Plains Pundit Podcast.

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