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World & Nation

Israel launches ‘wide-scale’ airstrikes on Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire

Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip protest a U.S. peace proposal on Thursday.
Palestinians in the southern Gaza Strip protest a U.S. peace proposal on Thursday.
(AFP via Getty Images)

The Israeli military said Friday that it launched “wide-scale” airstrikes on militant targets in the Gaza Strip shortly after Palestinian militants fired three rockets into Israel, two of which were intercepted.

There were no reports of casualties or major damage from the exchange of fire overnight, which came amid heightened tensions after President Trump released his Mideast plan, a U.S. initiative aimed at ending the conflict that heavily favors Israel and was rejected by the Palestinians.

Gaza has been relatively calm in recent months as Egyptian and U.N. mediators have worked to shore up an informal truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules the coastal territory.

Hamas has curbed rocket fire and rolled back weekly protests along the frontier that had often turned violent. In return, Israel has eased the blockade it imposed on Gaza after Hamas seized power from forces loyal to the Palestinian Authority in 2007.

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Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have rejected the Trump plan, which would allow Israel to annex all of its Jewish settlements, along with the Jordan Valley, in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinians were offered limited self-rule in Gaza, parts of the West Bank and some sparsely populated areas of Israel in return for meeting a long list of conditions.

Hamas has vowed that “all options are open” in responding to the proposal, but is not believed to be seeking war with Israel. Palestinian militants have fought three devastating wars with Israel since the Hamas takeover.


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