Explosions rock Gaza after Israeli air strikes

The Palestinian Red Crescent says one person was killed in a pre-dawn Israeli army raid in Nablus.

A column of smoke and fire in the night sky over Gaza.
Fire and smoke rise above buildings in Gaza City on Monday morning following Israeli air raids [Mahmud Hams/AFP]

Israel has bombed the Gaza Strip, saying the air strikes were a response to a rocket fired from the Palestinian territory over the weekend.

Several explosions were reported in Gaza early on Monday. Israeli army said it had struck “an underground complex containing raw materials used for the manufacturing of rockets belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation”.

The strikes were launched “in response to the Saturday rocket launch from Gaza into Israel”, the army added.

There was no immediate word on casualties. There has been no claim from any Palestinians about that alleged rocket launch.

The Palestinian Red Crescent, meanwhile, said one person was killed in a pre-dawn Israeli army raid in Nablus in the occupied West Bank, the scene of near-relentless violence over the past year.

The Israeli army did not comment on the Nablus raid. The raid comes amid one of the deadliest periods of violence in the region in years.

Israelis have killed at least 42 Palestinians so far this year. Ten people on the Israeli side were killed during that time.

On Sunday, dozens of leaders and senior officials from Arab and Islamic countries warned that Israeli actions in the occupied West Bank could worsen regional turmoil as violence surges between Israel and the Palestinians.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Palestinians were facing a “lethal assault” in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, and he urged world leaders to put an end to Israel’s actions.

The international community must “protect” the Palestinian people and “put a stop to Israeli aggression… [and] unilateral actions”, he told the Arab League meeting.

“Israeli intransigence and practices have crossed all red lines,” said Abbas.

In a move likely to inflame tensions, Israel’s security cabinet, late on Saturday, announced it would legalise nine West Bank Jewish settlements in response to fatal Palestinian attacks in annexed east Jerusalem.

A security cabinet statement said many of the newly authorised communities had existed for years, and others for decades, but had not previously been recognised as legitimate by Israel’s government.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned against settlement expansion in a trip to the region last month.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War.

Some 475,000 Jewish settlers now live in the Palestinian territory, in communities considered illegal under international law.

Source: News Agencies