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Violence in Gaza flares up after Israel signs agreements with Gulf states



Israeli security personnel inspect a storefront damaged in a rocket attack on the Israeli city of Ashdod (September 15, 2020)

copyrightReuters

captionA rocket hit a storefront in the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod, injuring two men

There has been a new round of violence between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel following a ceremony in Washington in which Israel and two Arab Gulf states normalized their relations.

Militants fired two rockets at Israel on Tuesday night. One hit the coastal town of Ashdod and injured two men.

Another barrage of 13 rockets was fired before dawn on Wednesday.

In retaliation, the Israeli military sites in Gaza bombed what they said belonged to the Palestinian group Hamas.

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“I am not surprised that the Palestinian terrorists fired on Israel during this very historic ceremony,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters before leaving Washington.

“They want to return the peace. In that they will not succeed,” he added.

“We will strike all those who raise a hand to harm us, and we will reach out to all those who extend the hand of peace to us.”

copyrightReuters
captionThe Israeli military said it hit Hamas targets in Gaza in response to the rockets

Hamas, which controls Gaza, warned Israel that it would “pay the price for any aggression against our people or resistance sides, and the answer will be direct”.

“We want to increase and expand our response to the extent of the occupation [Israel] continues in its aggression, ”it added.

The flare-up started while Mr Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were on the White House lawn signing historic normalization agreements mediated by US President Donald Trump.

media headlineThe agreements were signed at a White House ceremony

Sir. Trump said the agreements would “serve as a basis for comprehensive peace throughout the region.”

“After decades of division and conflict, we are marking the beginning of a new Middle East,” he said.

But the movement has deeply angered Palestinians, who accuse the Arab countries of abandoning a promise not to embrace ties with Israel until the Palestinian state is achieved.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned that “peace, security and stability will not be achieved in the region until the Israeli occupation ends”.

Before the UAE and Bahrain, the only other Arab countries in the Middle East that officially recognized Israel, Egypt and Jordan, which signed peace agreements in 1978 and 1994, respectively.


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