Jerusalem: Israel’s military carried out airstrikes on 10 sites in the Gaza Strip early Sunday, the army said, as tensions remained high following weekend clashes between Israeli police and demonstrators in Jerusalem and Arab towns in northern Israel.
The Israeli airstrikes targeted what it said were militant sites including rocket launchers and a weapons manufacturing site, following at least 29 other rockets and mortars fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel over the weekend, the army said.
Two of those rockets were aimed at Beersheba, a southern city deeper into Israel than any other attack in the current round of violence. The military says its “Iron Dome” defense system intercepted the two rockets.
Also Sunday, the army arrested a Palestinian in the West Bank city of Hebron. His family identified him as Hossam Dufesh. The army would not elaborate on the arrest, but Israeli forces have concentrated its search for the killers of three Israeli teens on the Hebron area.
Tensions, which have been high since the three Israeli teens were abducted on June 12, spiked last week after Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir was seized from his home in east Jerusalem and his burned body was found in a forest. Police say they are still investigating the killing, but Palestinians say Israeli extremists killed the teenager to avenge the deaths of the three Israelis.
Protests spread Saturday from Jerusalem to Arab towns in northern Israel, with hundreds of people throwing rocks and fire bombs at officers who responded with tear gas and stun grenades, according to Israeli police. Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said police had arrested 22 Arab Israelis in Saturday clashes with Israeli police.
Israeli Arabs, unlike Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, hold citizenship rights. But they often face discrimination and many identify with the Palestinians. Even so, violent riots like those that occurred on Saturday are rare.
Clashes mostly subsided by early Sunday, but tensions were still high. Samri said a Jewish woman was attacked and lightly wounded early Sunday by a group of Palestinians in Jerusalem’s Old City. Her husband fired his weapon and the attackers fled, and police are searching for the attackers, Samri said.