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New missiles and air strikes – focus on prisoners

Palestinian sources confirmed to Agence France-Presse, among other things, that property was bombed during military exercises within the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military branch of the ruling Islamic movement Hamas.

The major air strikes came in response to a rocket fired from Gaza. Palestinian forces responded by firing more rockets in the early morning hours.

No injuries were reported on either side.

But tensions in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are at their worst in a long time, following attacks by both sides that have killed more than 40 people in recent weeks.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Ramallah and Jerusalem this week with a call for calm.

Israel’s new right-wing government includes ultra-nationalists who advocate a larger and harsher occupation of the West Bank. And the Palestinians are deeply divided, both in their attitude toward Israel and among themselves in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Israeli Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, one of the most hardline members of the Israeli government, notes that Palestinians arrested for attacks against Israel should be treated more harshly than today.

The captives, who number in the thousands, are often seen as heroes among the Palestinians. But their presence is very harsh in Israeli detention centers and prisons, and Hamas claims, for example, that they are often abused.

Ben Gvir requested a meeting with the Israeli cabinet to discuss further harsh treatment of the prisoners, signaling that rebellion was not working.