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Israeli Air Strike Hits Hamas Complex in Gaza: Military

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

The Palestinian Red Crescent said one person was killed in a predawn Israeli army raid in Nablus in the northern West Bank, the scene of near-relentless violence over the past year.

The army did not immediately comment on the Nablus raid.

But in Gaza, it said it had struck “an underground complex containing raw materials used for the manufacturing of rockets belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization.”

The strikes were launched “in response to the Saturday rocket launch from Gaza into Israel,” the army added in a statement.

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.

But the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is enduring a dramatic increase in violence.

Since the start of the year, the conflict has claimed the lives of 47 Palestinian adults and children, including militants and civilians, following the latest death in Nablus.

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.

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

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

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

Some 475,000 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 authorized, but some live in communities that have not been given government authorization.

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.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s hardline government also announced a beefed-up security presence in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, the scene of two recent deadly attacks targeting civilians.

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