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Are we on the cusp of an escalation? Rockets fired at Israel, IDF strikes Gaza in response

Burst of rocket fire comes after nine Palestinians killed in Jenin during Israeli operation

A ball of fire and smoke rises during Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, early on Jan. 27, 2023. Photo by Attia Muhammed/Flash90

Several rockets were fired toward southern Israel late Thursday night after a tense day in which nine Palestinians were killed in the West Bank during an Israeli military operation, followed by Palestinian terror groups threatening revenge.

One rocket was intercepted, while others fell in open areas either in Israel or in the Gaza Strip. In response, Israeli Air Force warplanes bombed what it called “an underground rocket manufacturing site” operated by Hamas in Gaza. No injuries were reported by either side.

“In response to this attack, overnight (Friday) Israel Defense Forces fighter jets targeted an underground rocket manufacturing site belonging to the Hamas terrorist organization in Maghazi in the central Gaza Strip,” the IDF said in a statement. "This strike will significantly impede Hamas’ intensification and armament efforts.”

Tensions were already rising leading up to the rocket fire and Israeli security forces were on high alert. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant ordered the military to “prepare for action with a range of offensive means aimed at quality targets, in case we need to continue – until quiet is restored for the citizens of Israel.”

The rockets followed a battle earlier in the day between Israeli troops and militants in which nine Palestinians were killed – including one civilian – during the deadliest Israeli operation in the West Bank in several years.

The Israel Police released video footage – captured by soldiers’ helmet cameras – of a heavy gun battle during the Jenin operation. According to the IDF, a Palestinian Islamic Jihad cell was planning an imminent attack against Israel, which was the reason for the raid that Israel conducted on Thursday.

After the deadly encounter, the Palestinian Authority suspended security coordination with Israel following an emergency meeting of PA leadership.

The Israeli police are already preparing for a tense Ramadan coming up in March, especially in light of Israel's ongoing anti-terror offensive which has been largely concentrated in Jenin.

Nicole Jansezian was the news editor and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS.

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