Israeli airstrikes hit civilian buildings in Gaza, no casualties reported

Israeli airstrikes hit civilian buildings in Gaza, no casualties reported
The Israeli airstrikes struck several civilian structures in Gaza, including a wedding hall.
2 min read
13 February, 2023
A wedding hall was destroyed by Israeli airstrikes in Gaza [MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel hit Gaza with air strikes on Monday in response to a rocket fired from the besieged Palestinian enclave at the weekend, the army said, as unrest persisted in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli army claimed it had struck "an underground complex containing raw materials used for the manufacturing of rockets" that belonged to Hamas, adding that they were "in response to the Saturday rocket launch from Gaza into Israel".

Images however showed that civilian buildings in Gaza were destroyed in the strikes, including a wedding hall. 

Following the Israeli strikes, air raid sirens sounded in communities near the Gaza border, the military said.

There were no reported casualties in Gaza or Israel following the latest round of missile fire.

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Israel routinely launches devastating airstrikes in Gaza, killing dozens of Palestinian men, women and children. 

The Palestinian territories are enduring a dramatic increase in violence since Israel's hardline right-wing government took power at the end of 2022.

Since the start of this year, Israeli forces have killed 47 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a tally compiled by The New Arab has found.

Nine Israeli civilians, including three children, and one Ukrainian civilian have been killed over the same period, according to an AFP tally based on official sources from both sides.

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In a move likely to inflame tensions, Israel's security cabinet late Saturday announced it would legalise nine West Bank Jewish settlements in response to fatal Palestinian attacks in annexed east Jerusalem.

A security cabinet statement said many of the newly authorised communities had existed for years, and others for decades, but had not previously been recognised as legitimate by Israel's government.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War.

Hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers now live in the Palestinian territory, in communities considered illegal under international law.

Most of that population is in settlements that Israel has unilaterally authorised, but some live in communities that have not been given government authorisation.

The security cabinet also said it intended to announce a new round of settler housing construction in the West Bank, a step likely to draw widespread international condemnation.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warned against settlement expansion in a trip to the region last month.