Israel has struck Gaza with multiple missiles after rockets were launched from the territory, as US President Joe Biden continued a tour of the Middle East that included Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The Israeli military said early on Saturday it hit a rocket-manufacturing site in central Gaza run by Hamas, which governs the blockaded strip.
Al Jazeera’s Youmna ElSayed, reporting from Gaza, said people were woken up by the sound of the explosions and that more than a dozen missiles had targeted two separate locations in the territory.
She added that while no one had been reported injured, “there was a lot of material damage. We could see a lot of fires at the site and the land surrounding it.”
Most of the area around the site was agricultural, she said.
Media overage: "The moment when the Israeli occupation warplanes struck a Palestinian resistance location in Al-Nusirate camp in the middle of the Gaza strip early this morning."#GazaUnderAttack pic.twitter.com/UB4XbxKAiD
— Quds News Network (@QudsNen) July 16, 2022
Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said it was no coincidence that the Israeli raids took place right after Biden’s visit to Israel.
“This escalation, which came immediately after US President Biden’s visit to the Zionist entity, reflects the amount of American support and encouragement that the Israeli occupation has received for the continuation of its aggression and the perpetration of its crimes,” he said in a statement.
Earlier, sirens sounded in southern Israel twice, to warn residents of incoming rockets.
One was intercepted and three landed in open spaces, the Israeli military said.
No group has claimed responsibility for launching the rockets.
Israel fired missiles into Gaza last month, again after rocket launches from the besieged territory, after a period of relative calm. It said it targeted Hamas military sites, but Palestinian authorities said the missiles fell on agricultural land.
In May 2021, Israel launched an 11-day assault on Gaza that killed 253 Palestinians, including 66 children, and wounded more than 1,900 people.
At least 12 people, including three foreign workers and two children, were killed in Israel by rockets fired by Hamas and other armed groups from Gaza during the same period.
On Friday, during a visit to Israel and the occupied West Bank, US President Joe Biden promised not to give up peace efforts, but offered no new proposals to restart the process.