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newsIsrael-Palestinian Conflict

Hamas thwarts Gaza rocket launch

The Islamist group also deployed forces to prevent disturbances on the border.

Palestinians visit an exhibition of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's "military" wing, during the Eid al-Adha festival in Gaza City, June 30, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.
Palestinians visit an exhibition of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's "military" wing, during the Eid al-Adha festival in Gaza City, June 30, 2023. Photo by Atia Mohammed/Flash90.

Hamas deployed its border guard forces to prevent disturbances along the border with Israel on Monday, a Palestinian source in Gaza says.

The source added that the terrorist group has already thwarted an attempt to fire a rocket at Israel.

The moves come amid a widespread Israeli counterterror operation in the city of Jenin in Samaria.

The attempted launch was in the area of Beit Hanoun, in the northeast part of the Gaza Strip, the source said.

The Israel Defense Forces is preparing for the possibility that Gaza terrorist groups will fire rockets and raised its level of alert along the Gaza border. Israel warned Gaza terrorist groups not to escalate the conflict.

The Eshkol Regional Council, which represents Israeli communities in the northwestern Negev, adjacent to Gaza, said it has not received any special instructions from the IDF Home Front Command.

Israel began the major counterterror operation in Jenin, including the refugee camp neighborhood, in the early hours of Monday morning. Fierce fighting is taking place.

The IDF struck a building in the U.N.-administered camp that served as a joint war room where the city’s terrorist groups coordinated their activities. The IDF said the building also “served as an observation post, a gathering place for armed terrorists before and after terror acts, a cache for munitions and bombs and a communications center.”

IDF spokesman R. Adm. Daniel Hagari described the army’s activities as a “brigade-level raid” and said the military carried out drone strikes on wanted terrorists and on sites used to manufacture and store weapons. The IDF released photos from a bomb-making factory in Jenin.

“We did not come to occupy the refugee camp. This is not an operation against the Palestinian Authority but against the terror groups in Jenin,” Hagari said.

According to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry, five Palestinians have been killed and 27 injured. It wasn’t clear how many of the casualties were combatants.

The IDF reported that one soldier was wounded by shrapnel from a grenade thrown by another Israeli soldier.

A major counterterror operation was widely anticipated by Israelis and Palestinians alike as Palestinian terror mounted in northern Samaria. Since the beginning of 2023, terrorists have killed 24 people. The Palestinian Authority has little authority in northern Samaria.

In mid-June, an unusually large bomb buried beneath a road wounding seven soldiers was followed by the launch of the first rocket from Jenin. The IDF carried out a targeted killing of three terrorists in Samaria with an aerial drone, a tactic not seen in Judea and Samaria for 20 years.

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