Gaza violence erupts after Israeli signs with Gulf states

Image copyrightReuters

image CaptionA rocket injured two people in front of a shop in the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod

A fresh round of violence has begun between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel following a ceremony in Washington, with Israel and the two Gulf Arab states normalizing their relations.

Militants fired two rockets into Israel on Tuesday night. Two people died in the coastal city of Ashdod.

On Wednesday, another barrage of 13 rockets was launched before dawn.

In retaliation, Israeli military bombing sites in Gaza said it belonged to the Palestinian group Hamas.

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“I’m not surprised that Palestinian terrorists fired on Israel during this historic ceremony,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters before leaving Washington.

“They want to turn the peace back. In that, they won’t succeed,” he said.

“We will attack all those who raise hands to harm us, and we will reach all those who extend a hand of peace for us.”

Image copyrightReuters
image CaptionIsraeli army says it targets Hamas bases in Gaza in response to rockets

Hamas, which controls Gaza, warned Israel that it would “pay the price of any aggression against our people or resistance sites and the response would be direct.”

“We will expand and expand our response to the extent of capture.” [Israel] Persists in its aggression, ”it added.

The flare-up began while Mr. Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were on the White House lawn, signing Brocade historic normalization agreements by US President Donald Trump.

Media captionThe agreements were signed at a ceremony at the White House

Mr Trump said the deal would “serve as the foundation for comprehensive peace throughout the region”.

“We mark the dawn of a new Middle East after decades of division and conflict,” he announced.

But the move has drawn deep resentment among Palestinians, who have alleged that they will promise not to pursue relations with Israel until the Palestinians achieve statehood.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned that “peace, security and stability in the region will not be achieved until the Israeli occupation is over”.

Before the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the only other Arab countries in the Middle East to officially recognize Israel were Egypt and Jordan, who signed peace treaties in 1978 and 1994, respectively.