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Israel Strikes Lebanon and Gaza After Major Rocket Attack

The Israeli military has carried out air strikes on targets belonging to the Palestinian militant group Hamas in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip.

The military said the attacks were a response to a barrage of 34 rockets fired from Lebanon into northern Israel on Thursday, which it blamed on Hamas.

Militants in Gaza fired dozens more rockets after the strikes began.

Tensions are high following two nights of Israeli police raids at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem earlier this week.

The raids triggered violent confrontations with Palestinians inside the mosque, which is Islam’s third holiest site, and caused anger across the region.

Hamas did not say that it fired the rockets from Lebanon, which was the biggest such barrage in 17 years.

But its leader Ismail Haniyeh, who was visiting Beirut at the time, said Palestinians would not “sit with their arms crossed” in the face of Israeli aggression.

Hours after the Israeli strikes, two Israeli sisters were killed and their mother was seriously injured in a shooting attack near a settlement in the occupied West Bank, Israeli officials said.

Overnight, there were two or three explosions around the Rashidieh Palestinian refugee camp, 5km (3 miles) south of the Lebanese coastal city of Tyre.

Lebanese media also reported strikes on the outskirts of the village of al-Qulaila, another 4km further south. Photographs appeared to show that a small bridge was destroyed.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted that its warplanes struck “terrorist infrastructures belonging to Hamas” in Lebanon.

“The IDF will not allow the Hamas terrorist organization to operate from within Lebanon and hold the state of Lebanon responsible for every directed fire emanating from its territory,” it warned.

Hamas said it strongly condemned “the blatant Zionist aggression against Lebanon in the vicinity of Tyre at dawn today [Friday]”.

Source : BBC News