Israel Launches 'Wide-Scale' Strikes on Gaza

Airstrikes follow rocket fire from militants
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 31, 2020 1:06 AM CST
Israel Launches 'Wide-Scale' Strikes on Gaza
Protesters hold candles as others wave their national flags during a protest against the Mideast plan announced by Trump, at Jebaliya refugee camp, Gaza Strip, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2020.   (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

The Israeli military said on Friday that it launched "wide-scale" airstrikes on militant targets in the Gaza Strip shortly after Palestinian militants fired three rockets into Israel, two of which were intercepted. There were no reports of casualties or major damage from the exchange of fire overnight, which came amid heightened tensions after President Trump released his Mideast plan, a peace initiative that heavily favors Israel and was rejected by the Palestinians, the AP reports. Gaza has been relatively calm in recent months as Egyptian and UN mediators have worked to shore up an informal truce between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rules the coastal territory.

Hamas has curbed rocket fire and rolled back weekly protests along the frontier that had often turned violent. In return, Israel has eased the blockade it imposed on Gaza after Hamas seized power from forces loyal to the Palestinian Authority in 2007. Both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have rejected the Trump plan, which would allow Israel to annex all of its Jewish settlements, along with the Jordan Valley, in the occupied West Bank. The Palestinians were offered limited self-rule in Gaza, parts of the West Bank, and some sparsely populated areas of Israel in return for meeting a long list of conditions. Hamas has vowed that "all options are open" in responding to the proposal, but is not believed to be seeking war with Israel.

(More Gaza stories.)

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