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Fighting again: Israel, Hamas exchange fire for third straight day

Sep 13, 2021


In a continuation of recent attacks that peaked back in May, Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas traded attacks Monday.

The Israeli military reported three separate rocket launches from Hamas late Sunday and early Monday. At least two of them were intercepted by Israel’s rocket defenses. The Israel Defense Forces said it attacked a number of Hamas targets in retaliation. There were no reports of casualties on either side.

The video above shows the results of and Israeli airstrike in the Gaza town of Deir al-Balah.

Last week, six Palestinian inmates tunneled their way out of a maximum security prison in Israel. Included in the 6 is a famed militant leader whose exploits over the years have made him a well-known figure in Israel.

On Saturday, Israeli police said they had arrested four of the six, including Zakaria Zubeidi, who led Palestinians in their second uprising in the early 2000s.

The prison break appears to have heightened tensions across the region, with Palestinians staging a number of protests in solidarity with the escapees. After the four were arrested, Hamas responded with rocket fire, and three straight days of fighting have followed.

In other violence, the Israeli army said soldiers shot an assailant who tried to stab a soldier at a busy intersection in the West Bank. In downtown Jerusalem, police said a 17-year-old Palestinian boy stabbed and wounded two people near the city’s central bus station.

The weekend violence comes as Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett was preparing for a visit to Egypt to broker a long-term truce between Israel and Hamas. Those efforts appear to have come to a standstill in recent weeks.

The sides are currently unable to agree on a system to renew Qatari payments to needy Gaza families. Israel has demanded that Hamas does not divert the money for military use. Meanwhile, Hamas is pushing for Israel to end a crippling blockade that has devastated Gaza’s economy.

On Sunday, Israel Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called for a new approach to end the fight with Hamas. His plan focuses on international investment in Gaza’s infrastructure in exchange for pressure on Hamas to halt its military buildup.

“The policy Israel has pursued up until now hasn’t substantially changed the situation,” Lapid told a security conference. “We need to change direction.”


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