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Violence in Gaza flares up after Israel signs agreements with Gulf states

Israeli security personnel inspect a showcase damaged by a missile attack on the Israeli city of Ashdod (September 15, 2020)

copyright of the imageReuters

image captionA rocket hit a shop in the Israeli coastal city of Ashdod, injuring two men

There was a new round of violence between Palestinian militants in Gaza and Israel following a ceremony in Washington in which Israel and two Arab Gulf states normalized their relations.

The militants fired two rockets into Israel on Tuesday night. One hit the coastal town of Ashdod, wounding two men.

Another barrage of 13 rockets was launched on Wednesday before dawn.

In retaliation, the Israeli military bombed sites in Gaza that are said to belong to the Palestinian group Hamas.

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“I am not surprised that Palestinian terrorists fired on Israel during this historic ceremony,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters before leaving Washington.

“They want to bring peace back. In that, they will not succeed,” he added.

“We will strike all those who raise a hand to harm us and we will reach out to all those who offer us the hand of peace”.

copyright of the imageReuters
image captionThe Israeli army said it hit Hamas targets in Gaza in response to the rockets

Hamas, which controls Gaza, warned Israel that “it would pay the price for any aggression against our people or the sites of resistance and the response will be direct.”

“We will increase and expand our response to the extent that employment [Israel] it persists in its aggression, “he added.

The blaze began as Netanyahu and the UAE and Bahrain foreign ministers stood on the White House lawn, signing historic normalization agreements mediated by US President Donald Trump.

multimedia captionThe agreements were signed in a ceremony at the White House

Trump said the agreements “will serve as the basis for global peace across the region.”

“After decades of division and conflict, we are marking the dawn of a new Middle East,” he said.

But the move has deeply angered the Palestinians, who accuse Arab countries of reneging on their promise not to embrace ties with Israel until Palestinian statehood is achieved.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned that “peace, security and stability will not be achieved in the region until the Israeli occupation ends.”

Before the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, the only other Arab countries in the Middle East to officially recognize Israel were Egypt and Jordan, which signed peace treaties in 1978 and 1994 respectively.

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