(Jerusalem) Israel attacked before dawn on Friday in Gaza and Lebanon, saying it was targeting Hamas targets, after dozens of rockets were fired at Israel the day before from these two territories.

Strikes were underway around 4:30 a.m. Israel time (9:30 p.m. Eastern time) in both southern Lebanon and Gaza, according to a military statement.

This is the latest episode in a sudden rise in tension in the Middle East since Wednesday, after a relative lull in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict observed since the start of Ramadan on March 23.

Loud explosions were heard in the Tire region of southern Lebanon. A resident of the Rashidiyah Palestinian refugee camp near Tyre, Abu Ahmad, told AFP that “at least two shells fell near the camp”. An AFP correspondent in this region said that a shell had fallen on the roof of a house in a plantation near the camp, causing material damage.

In Gaza, the Israeli air raids had begun before midnight.

On Thursday, the day of Passover, around 30 rockets were fired from Lebanon towards Israel, injuring one person and causing material damage, in an escalation on the Israeli-Lebanese front unparalleled since 2006.

These shootings took place the day after the violent irruption of the Israeli police in the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam, in order to dislodge Palestinians who had barricaded themselves there.

The Israeli army said it was certain that the unclaimed rocket attacks from Lebanon were “Palestinian”, and in its opinion probably the work of Hamas or Islamic Jihad.

“Our response… will exact a heavy price” from Israel’s enemies, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said after a security cabinet meeting.

“Israeli defense is ready to meet any threat, on any front,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.

In the Gaza Strip, the army carried out several air raids during the night, targeting tunnels, a heavy machine gun and weapons manufacturing workshops belonging to Hamas, an Islamist movement in power in this micro-territory since 2007, according to military press releases.

In response, several missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip, apparently intercepted by Israeli air defenses.

The IDF says it “will not allow the terrorist organization Hamas to operate from Lebanon and holds the Lebanese state responsible for any fire directed [at Israel] from its territory.” »

No casualties were immediately reported on either side following the night’s clashes.

Hamas said it held Israel “responsible” for the escalation and called on “all Palestinian factions to unite to confront [it]”.

“Every explosion will be met with an explosion […] and any attack on Al-Aqsa or the [Muslim] worshipers will find a response,” added Islamic Jihad.

The outbreak of violence on Israel’s northern border has prompted condemnation and calls for restraint, such as the violence the day before in the Al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem, annexed by Israel.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called for “maximum restraint”. Paris condemned “indiscriminate” fire on Israel and called for “respect for the historic status quo at holy sites in Jerusalem”, while Washington recognized “Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself against any form of aggression”.

Israel and Lebanon remain technically in a state of war after various conflicts, and the ceasefire line is monitored by the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), deployed in southern Lebanon to ensure that peace is maintained. truce.

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry assured that Lebanon wanted to preserve “calm and stability” in the south, calling on the international community to “put pressure on Israel to stop the escalation”.

According to the IDF, “34 rockets were fired from Lebanese territory,” five of which landed in Israel and 25 were intercepted by air defense.

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati said he refused “any escalation from his territory”.

In Fassuta, northern Israel, a car was damaged by a rocket.

About 20 kilometers to the west, in Shlomi, offices were riddled with impacts after a rocket exploded on the roadway. “It was terrifying” but “that’s the reality in Israel,” said Noy Atias, 21, saying he heard no less than five explosions.

Earlier Thursday, Shiite Hezbollah, the de facto master of southern Lebanon, proclaimed its support for “all measures” that Palestinian armed groups might take against Israel by “strongly denouncing the onslaught of the Israeli occupation forces”. against the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Visiting Lebanon, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Palestinians would “not stand idly by” in the face of Israel’s “aggression” against Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“If the Zionists think that they can defile the Al-Aqsa mosque, they must understand […] that this could set the whole region on fire”, warned Hashem Safieddine, a leader of Hezbollah, quoted by the chain of the movement.