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The Israeli military struck targets in the Gaza Strip while Palestinian militants fired barrages of rockets into southern Israel early Friday, with the region edging closer toward war following two days of unrest at Jerusalem’s most sensitive holy site and a rare rocket attack from neighboring Lebanon.
The fighting comes during a delicate time — when Jews are celebrating the Passover holiday and Muslims are marking the Ramadan holy month. Similar tensions spilled over into an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers in 2021.
The current round of violence began Wednesday after Israeli police twice raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City. That led Thursday to rocket fire from Gaza and, in a significant escalation, an unusual barrage of nearly three dozen rockets from Lebanon into northern Israel.
As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened his Security Cabinet late Thursday, the military struck what it said were four sites in Gaza belonging to Hamas.
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