Palestinian rocket fire, Israeli strikes in Gaza run into second day

Palestinian rocket fire, Israeli strikes in Gaza run into second day

Palestinians fired uninterrupted barrages of rockets into Israel, as its military pounded Gaza with air strikes through the early hours of Tuesday, in a dramatic escalation of clashes in Jerusalem.

Explosions shook buildings throughout Gaza and rocket sirens sent Israelis in many southern towns scurrying for shelter overnight. Two Palestinians were killed and more than 100 wounded in air strikes, Palestinian officials said.

Six Israelis were wounded by a rocket, medics said.

Nine children were among the 20 dead in Gaza on Monday and scores of rockets were launched into Israel, many that were intercepted by missile defences.

The events were unleashed by Gaza militants firing on the Jerusalem area for the first time since a 2014 war, crossing what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called a “red line”.

The upsurge in violence came as Israel celebrated “Jerusalem Day”, marking its capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The escalation began with confrontations at Al-Aqsa Mosque in the heart of the walled Old City on the compound known to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary - the most sensitive site in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society said more than 300 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police, who fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas in the compound. Police said 21 officers were hurt in the skirmishes, Reuters reported.

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