(Jerusalem) Two Israeli women were killed and their mother seriously injured Friday in an attack in the occupied West Bank, after Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip and southern Lebanon, the latest episode in a sharp rise in tension in the Middle East. East.
Israel said it had targeted positions of the Palestinian movement Hamas in Gaza and Lebanon, in response to the firing of dozens of rockets against its territory.
After a relative lull in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict observed since the start of Ramadan on March 23, clashes on Wednesday between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam, provoked this bout of fever.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu claimed that Israeli forces had been “forced to act to restore order” in the face of “extremists”.
On Friday, two women in their twenties were killed and a third “seriously injured” in an attack in the West Bank, Magen David Aadom, Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross, reported.
The Israeli army said the victims were Israelis and that their vehicle had been shot at at the Hamra junction in the northeastern West Bank, territory occupied by Israel since 1967.
The victims, two sisters and their mother, are from Efrat, the town hall of this settlement in the southern West Bank said in a statement.
This attack comes after Israeli strikes in Gaza and Lebanon, in an unprecedented escalation on the Israeli-Lebanese front since 2006.
The airstrikes began shortly before midnight in Gaza, lasting several hours, and the brief bombings in southern Lebanon took place around 9 p.m. (Eastern time).
In Lebanon, the Israeli army claimed to have struck three “infrastructures” belonging to Hamas, in the area of Rashidye, where there is a camp for Palestinian refugees, near Tyre.
Violent explosions were heard in this area. “At least two shells fell near the camp,” Rashidye camp resident Abu Ahmad told AFP.
On Thursday, the day of Passover, around 30 rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel, injuring one person and causing material damage.
The Israeli army has claimed that the unclaimed rocket fire from Lebanon was “Palestinian”, and it says it likely from Hamas or Islamic Jihad, another Palestinian movement, and Mr. Netanyahu has promised to “pay for it”. a heavy price” to the enemies of Israel.
Israel and Lebanon are technically in a state of war after different conflicts, and the ceasefire line is controlled by the United Nations Interim Force (UNIFIL), deployed in southern Lebanon. She said she called on “all parties to cease all actions.”
“Both sides have said they don’t want war,” UNIFIL said in a statement.
The Israeli army said for its part that it would “not allow the terrorist organization Hamas to operate from Lebanon and that it [holds] the Lebanese state responsible for any fire directed [at Israel] at from its territory. »
The Lebanese army announced on Friday that it had dismantled a new launch pad in the south of the country that could be fired at Israel, and the Lebanese Foreign Ministry assured that Lebanon wanted to preserve “calm” in the south. .
Thursday, the Shiite Hezbollah, de facto master of southern Lebanon, had proclaimed its support for “all measures” that the Palestinian armed groups could take against Israel.
The United Kingdom has called for “de-escalation” by “all parties”.
Condemning “appalling Israeli aggression” in Gaza and Lebanon, Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, said it held Israel “fully responsible for the consequences of such grave aggression”.
The Israeli army said it carried out several airstrikes overnight in the Gaza Strip, targeting ten targets, including tunnels, a heavy machine gun and weapons workshops belonging to Hamas.
In response, several dozen missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip. Only one hit an urban area, Sderot, very close to the Gaza Strip, damaging a house, according to the Israeli army.
Gaza’s health ministry reported “damage” to al-Dorra pediatric hospital (in eastern Gaza City) following the Israeli raids, condemning an “unacceptable” act. The IDF said it is reviewing this information.