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Israel targets Gaza with multiple air strikes following rocket fire

Israeli military targets the besieged enclave, a day after three Palestinians were shot dead during an army raid in Jenin
Fire erupts following an Israeli airstrike south of Gaza City on 18 June 2022 (AFP)

Israel launched air strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip on Saturday, following reported rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave targeting the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. 

"A short while ago, in response to the rocket attack, [Israeli military] aircraft struck a number of Hamas terror targets in the Gaza Strip," the Israeli military said in a statement.

Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Israeli warplanes had targeted sites in the centre of Gaza and in Malaka, southeast of Gaza City. 

It added that drones also targeted locations near Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun, in the north of the enclave, destroying the sites and causing damage to nearby homes. 

Israel’s army said that hours earlier, air raid sirens were sounded in Ashkelon after a rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning. The Iron Dome missile-defence system intercepted the rocket, the military said. 

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Jenin raid

On Friday, Israeli forces killed three armed Palestinians during a raid by the army in Jenin in the occupied West Bank, after opening fire on the vehicle they were travelling in. 

They were identified as Yusef Salah, 23, Baraa Lahluh, 24, and Laith Abu Srur, 24, all from Jenin, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Eight more people were moderately wounded in the raid.

Israeli forces kill three Palestinians in Jenin
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Mujahid al-Saadi, a journalist from the area, told Middle East Eye that Palestinian fighters from the city responded to the raid with fire - as has been the case in Jenin in recent months - leading to gunfights with Israeli soldiers. 

It comes two months after three Palestinians were killed in a similar Jenin ambush

In February, another targeted operation in Nablus by the army left three people killed while in their vehicle.

Palestinian observers say the return of Israeli targeted killings - which have been rare in the occupied West Bank since the Second Intifada waned in 2005 - is a sign of growing Israeli aggression.

More than 65 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank by Israeli forces this year, including 26 in Jenin alone. 

Journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a prominent TV reporter with Al Jazeera, was shot dead by Israeli forces last month in Jenin while she was covering one of the army raids there.

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