Gaza Rocket Lands Near Jerusalem

A rocket launched from Gaza landed on the outskirts of Jerusalem as confrontations continue between Israel and Palestinian militants. The fighting has been ongoing for four days.

Israel has claimed that it retaliated by striking positions used by the group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). This period of fighting has been the most intense since last August. According to the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), 850 rockets have been fired at Jerusalem and other urban targets from Gaza.

People on both sides have reportedly been killed, including a number of civilians. The resumption of fighting on Friday has scuppered hopes of a ceasefire between the warring parties.

Rockets launched at Jerusalem from Gaza

According to regional news outlets, a projectile fired from Gaza fell close to the Jewish community of Bat Ayin, situated in the West Bank under Israeli control, approximately 16km (10 miles) to the south of Jerusalem. There have been no reports of any individuals being harmed.

Over the course of the previous four days, the IDF has reported that they have been targeted by in excess of 860 rockets launched from Gaza, with the majority either being intercepted or landing in unpopulated areas. The IDF has stated that roughly one-fifth of the rockets have fallen short and impacted Gaza itself.

Although Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system and the country’s other countermeasures intercepted most of the rockets, Friday marked the first time a rocket fired from Gaza landed within the vicinity of Jerusalem since May 2021.

Over the course of the four days of rocket exchanges, the Magen David Adom (MDA) ambulance service of Israel has reported that one Israeli individual was killed and five others were injured as a result of rocket attacks.

The IDF has also reported carrying out its own strikes against PIJ positions in Gaza. Commenting on the Israeli airstrikes, the Gaza health ministry claimed that 31 people were killed in the attacks, with about half of them being civilians, since Israel initiated the airstrikes on Tuesday. At least three PIJ militants were killed.

The PIJ issued a statement saying that “the firing of rockets at Jerusalem is a message, and everyone should understand its aim”.

Attempted ceasefire

There have been growing calls from the international community for both sides to halt escalations toward further violence and agree to a ceasefire.

For example, the European Union urged the two sides to reach an “immediate comprehensive ceasefire”.

Egypt has attempted to act as a mediator and sent envoys to Israel in an attempt to end the fighting. However, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was forced to conclude on Thursday that “efforts in relation to the escalation in the Gaza Strip have not yet yielded the desired fruits and results.”

Meanwhile, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich commented yesterday that “If they stop shooting, we have no interest in continuing, but if they continue, we will crush them and strike them.”


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