Israel fires into besieged Gaza Strip for second day in a row amid violent Al-Aqsa raids
Israeli warplanes struck the besieged Gaza Strip for a second day in a row on Thursday, targeting the Nuseirat refugee camp, Palestinian official media reported.
Air strikes caused significant damage to the camp, located in the centre of the blockaded enclave, the Wafa agency said, although no injuries were reported.
Israeli gunboats "fired several sound bombs" toward the town of Beit Lahiya in northern parts of Gaza, the Palestinian outlet added.
The strikes took place after rockets were fired from Gaza into southern parts of Israel, in retaliation for Israel's brutal raid on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound late on Wednesday, which drew international condemnation.
No damage or casualties were reported in Israel, according to Reuters.
Israeli police stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem for a second night in a row on Wednesday, attacking worshippers with sound bombs and rubber bullets before expelling them, according to The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
Israeli forces assaulted worshippers who were taking part in Taraweeh prayers, which are held in the evenings during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
At least a dozen Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets and baton beatings by Israeli forces, the Palestinian Red Cross said.
Israel brutally raided the mosque - the third holiest site in Islam - on Tuesday, wounding and arresting hundreds of Palestinians as they worshipped. Many had their bones broken due to excessive violence carried out by Israeli forces.
Between 400 and 500 people were detained at the holy site and taken into military custody for interrogation, said the Wadi Hilweh Information Center, located in East Jerusalem.
In response, nine rockets were fired from Gaza, which led to Israeli bombing and shelling of the besieged enclave.
Hamas, which rules the strip, did not claim responsibility for the attack on Tuesday. Instead, the smaller Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) and the Popular Resistance Committee said they were responsible.
Since the start of Ramadan in late March, Israeli forces have attempted to prevent Palestinian worshippers from spending the nights inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque, in a religious practice named itikaaf which consists of staying in a mosque for several days in a bid to increase prayer.
Moreover, Israeli radicals regularly storm the holy site during Ramadan - often under Israeli police protection - as a means to harass, intimidate and push out Palestinian Muslims seeking to pray at the mosque.
Israeli far-right extremists also provoke Palestinians by performing acts of Jewish prayer at the site, which contradicts the status quo agreement on Al-Aqsa, where holy acts at the site is reserved for Muslims only.
Since the start of the year, Israel has conducted violent raids across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, which it has occupied since an illegal invasion in 1967.
At least 95 Palestinians have killed in 2023 alone, in what has been described as "the bloodiest months" in recent Palestinian memory.