World News

Two dead in West Bank attack after Israel bombards Lebanon, Gaza

Two Israeli women were killed in a shooting in the occupied West Bank on Friday, just hours after Israel bombarded Gaza and Lebanon following rocket fire by Palestinian militants.

The broadening of the conflict since Israeli police clashed with Palestinians inside Jerusalem’s flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque drew appeals for restraint from the international community but the Israel army vowed it would not allow Palestinian factions to open a new front in Lebanon.

It was the heaviest rocket fire from Lebanon since Israel fought a 34-day war with Iran-backed militant group Hezbollah in 2006 and the first time Israel has confirmed an attack on Lebanese territory since April 2022.

The Israeli army said it had launched a manhunt for the perpetrators of the West Bank shooting, which also seriously wounded a third woman. It said the women were fired on in a car as they passed through Hamra junction, in the northern part of the Jordan Valley. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The attack came after the army carried out air strikes and an artillery bombardment before dawn in response to rocket fire from Gaza and Lebanon.

It said more than 30 rockets had been fired by Palestinian militants from Lebanese territory. In response it “struck targets, including terror infrastructures, belonging to the Hamas terrorist organisation in southern Lebanon”, a statement said. Explosions were heard by AFP journalists in Lebanon’s Tyre region as well as the Gaza Strip, where Israeli air raids had begun before midnight.

AFP journalists in the Tyre area said they heard at least three blasts, and a resident of a nearby Palestinian refugee camp said he “heard explosions”. At least two shells fell near the camp”, Abu Ahmad told AFP. The latest flare-up comes after Israeli police clashed Wednesday with Palestinians inside the Al-Aqsa mosque in annexed east Jerusalem — Islam’s third-holiest site.

The Lebanese army said it had found and dismantled a multiple rocket launcher in an olive grove in the Marjayoun area near the border, still loaded with six rockets primed to fire at Israel. In the Gaza Strip, the Israeli army said it had hit two tunnels and “two weapon manufacturing sites” belonging to Hamas “as a response to the security violations of Hamas during the last few days.” The army said air defences intercepted 25 rockets, while five hit Israeli territory.

The Israeli army said it “will not allow the Hamas terrorist organisation to operate from within Lebanon and holds the state of Lebanon responsible for every directed fire emanating from its territory.  Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Richard Hecht blamed Palestinian militants for the rocket fire from Lebanon.

Source: eNCA

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