Israel Strikes Gaza Targets Following Rocket Fire

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IDF soldiers looking for the Palestinian fugitives in the West Bank
IDF soldiers looking for the Palestinian fugitives in the West BankCredit: Ammar Awad/ Reuters

Israel conducted airstrikes in Gaza on Friday night after Palestinian militants launched a rocket at southern Israel, with no casualties reported. The launch followed Israel's capture of two Palestinian inmates who escaped from an Israeli prison earlier this week.

The rocket was launched toward the Eshkol area, and was intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. According to the military, air force planes struck a Hamas post used as a shooting range, a storage site, and a factory used for making concrete for attack tunnels. Palestinian sources did not report any injuries or deaths from the strikes.

Meanwhile, in the West Bank, about 1,000 Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces in several locations. Shots were fired at soldiers at the Jalamah checkpoint near Jenin. Palestinians also hurled improvised explosives and rocks at military forces, and the military reported that none of its soldiers were harmed.

Palestinians clash with the IDF in the West BankCredit: Mohamad Torokman/ Reuters

Hamas spokesman Abdulatif al-Qanua said Friday evening that "the arrest of the two fugitives will not remove the stain from Israel. It's enough that they have humiliated the Israeli security forces and the occupation regime." Palestinian factions in Gaza have threatened to attack Israel and called for protests in support of the escaped inmates.

Earlier on Friday, two Palestinian fugitives were captured in Nazareth, five days into a manhunt that began after six inmates escaped from a maximum security Israeli prison. On Saturday two more escapees, Zakaria Zubeidi and Mohammed Aradeh, were caught; two more remain at large.

Meanwhile, on Friday, Qatari envoy to Gaza Mohammad al-Ammadi said that the Palestinian Authority had walked back on its deal with the United Nations and Doha to transfer Qatari aid to Hamas officials through Palestinian banks in the West Bank. The PA has expressed concern that its banks will be exposed to lawsuits alleging support for terrorism, as Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by Israel and Western countries.

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