Rockets continue pouring over the Gaza border into Israel – at least 70 as of 9:35 p.m. from 6 p.m.
Palestinians had called for all-out war from 6 p.m. if Israeli police did not retreat from the Temple Mount – Haram al-Sharif. At 6 p.m. the rockets started flying.
Then, Islamic Jihad warned it would renew rocket fire against Israel at 9 p.m. and precisely as the clock struck 9, more than 15 rockets flew over the border. Most were neutralized by the Iron Dome anti-rocket system.
Only one injury was reported on the Israeli side and three deaths in Gaza after the Israeli Air Force responded to the rockets.
In Jerusalem, a fire was burning on the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif. The fire was caused by firecrackers set off by Palestinians at the plaza.
Jerusalem has been a tinderbox for most of this Ramadan – beginning with TikTok videos of Arabs attacking Jews – but in the last few days the volatile situation exploded in violent clashes between Israeli police and Muslims.
Israeli officers entered the al-Aqsa compound on Friday night after protestors threw chairs, stones and bottles at them from inside. One social media video even shows a smoke bomb landing inside the mosque itself.
The IDF said in a statement: “After terrorists in Gaza fired a barrage of rockets at central and southern Israel over the past few hours, we just struck 3 Hamas terrorists in Gaza. We hold the Palestinian terror group Hamas in Gaza accountable for this serious aggression against us.”
In Israel, school was cancelled all the way from communities around the Gaza to Beersheva and in the Tel Aviv area, only schools that have shelters were allowed to open.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to defend Israel and said Hamas will pay for this.
“We are in a struggle that is spreading across several fronts: in Jerusalem, in Gaza and elsewhere in the country,” he said in a statement. “The terrorist organizations in Gaza crossed a red line on Jerusalem Day evening and attacked us with missiles at the entrances to Jerusalem. Israel will respond with great force. We will not suffer harm to our territory, our capital, our citizens and our soldiers. Whoever attacks us will pay a heavy price.”
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said: “The United States strongly condemns the rocket barrages from Gaza towards Israel. This is an unacceptable escalation. We support Israel's right to defend itself.”
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.