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Tuesday, January 19, 2021
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Explosions in Gaza, aftermath of deadly rocket attack in Ashkelon

Air-raid sirens sent Israelis in the country’s south, near Gaza, running to their shelters through the night as interceptor missiles blew up rockets in the sky.

Israeli police said one of the rockets launched from Gaza hit a house in the city of Ashkelon, killing one man.

Israeli bombings in Gaza shook buildings and sent Palestinians fleeing for cover. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group said two of its men were killed in an Israeli raid before dawn.

The latest round of violence began on Friday when a Palestinian Islamic Jihad sniper fired at Israeli troops, wounding two soldiers, according to the Israeli military.

Israel retaliated with an air strike that killed two militants from the armed Islamist group Hamas, which controls Gaza. It also announced on Saturday (May 4) the closing of the Erez and Kerem Shalom Crossings, as well as the closing of the fishing zone off the Gaza Strip, until further notice.

The escalation comes just ahead of both the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and Israel’s Independence Day holiday.

(Production: Abed Shanaa, Mohammed Shanaa, Ran Tzabari, Lee Marzel, Lianne Back)

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