Israel, Gaza fighters trade missiles after deadly West Bank raid

In response to militant rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave, Israel began airstrikes on Gaza on Friday. Tensions had increased following the deadliest army assault on the occupied West Bank in years.

Following waves of rocket fire toward southern Israel, Israel claimed to have conducted at least two rounds of strikes on Hamas.

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Both sides reported no injuries, and Israel’s air defense system successfully stopped the majority of the Gaza rockets.

No Gaza-based Palestinian organization has claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks, but both Hamas and Islamic Jihad had threatened to retaliate for a West Bank Israeli raid that day that took nine lives.

Another Palestinian was killed Thursday by Israeli fire in separate West Bank unrest near Ramallah.

The bloodiest day in the West Bank in years erupted during a raid on the crowded refugee camp in the northern city of Jenin, where gunshots rang through the streets and smoke billowed from burning barricades.

The military claimed that during a “counterterrorism operation to capture an Islamic Jihad terror squad,” Israeli forces came under fire and shot a number of enemy combatants.

The United Nations has never recorded such a high death toll in a single operation in the West Bank since its records started in 2005.

The Palestinian Authority announced it was halting security coordination with Israel in response to the violence, a decision that was criticized by the US.

Majeda Obeid, 61, who resided a few meters from the home the Israeli forces attacked, was one of the Jenin residents whose deaths were officially confirmed.

Her daughter, Kefiyat Obeid, told AFP her mother was shot as she peered out her window at the clashes.

“After she finished her prayers, she stopped for a moment to look and, as she stood up, she was hit in the neck by a bullet and she fell against the wall and then to the floor,” the 26-year-old told AFP, as bloodstains soaked into the rug of their home.

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