The first missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. Then the Israeli Air Force attacked Hamas’s targets – a historic rapprochement was sealed shortly before.
Following rocket attacks by Palestinian militants, the Israeli Air Force attacked targets owned by Hamas, which ruled Gaza, earlier on Wednesday. “About ten terrorist targets were hit, including a weapons and explosives workshop and a military facility used by the Hamas terrorist organization for training purposes and missile drills,” the military said in a statement. A total of 13 missiles were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip. Eight of them were intercepted by the missile defense.
The rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip began Tuesday evening as Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain sealed their rapprochement. Two people were injured. Just two weeks ago, the Islamist Palestinian organization Hamas, after mediation from Qatar, announced a ceasefire with Israel.
Netanyahu in Washington
The new missile alarm was triggered at the end of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech before the White House in Washington. There he took part in a ceremony that sealed the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain. Hundreds of people had previously demonstrated against the rapprochement between the countries and Israel in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Natanyahu was “not surprised that Palestinian terrorists fired on Israel right at the time of this historic ceremony,” Netanyahu said Wednesday. “They want to prevent peace, but they won’t be able to do it,” Netanyahu said. “We will defeat all those who are evil to us, and we will extend a hand of peace to all those who contact us to make peace,” he said in Washington before his flight back to Israel.
The Arab states have so far taken the approach of making a solution to the conflict with the Palestinians a precondition for normalizing relations with Israel. This focus has shifted with some Arab states, especially in the Gulf region, as they feel threatened by Iran. The Palestinians, in turn, feel betrayed by the actions of the UAE and Bahrain.
Hamas leader Ismail Radwan spoke on Tuesday of a “black day in the history of the Emirates and Bahrain, which have signed a disgraceful deal with the occupier under the auspices of the US”.