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Israel Unleashes Airstrikes on Gaza in Retaliation for Jerusalem Attack

Israel launched airstrikes on Gaza Monday as simmering tensions boiled over into widespread violence.

Earlier Monday, more than 300 Palestinians and 30 Israeli police were injured in protests near the al-Aqsa mosque.

Some of those injuries took place when a car driven by an Israeli man crashed into a group of rock-throwing protesters.

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As part of the anti-Israel violence, Hamas militants fired rockets into Israel, leading to the Israeli attack.

Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said Israeli forces had targeted “a Hamas military operative,” according to CBS.

Hamas sources in Gaza said a commander had been killed.

A report from the Associated Press published by USA Today said at least 20 people, including nine children, were killed by the Israeli attacks.

The Hamas rocket attacks targeted multiple sites in southern Israel as well as Jerusalem. Overall, about 150 rockets were launched, according to the Times of Israel.

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About 10 people were injured in the rocket attacks.

Conricus said six rockets were aimed at Jerusalem in the first targeting of the city in seven years.

Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas, said the attack on Jerusalem was due to Israeli “crimes and aggression” in the city.

“This is a message the enemy has to understand well,” he said.

The attack on Jerusalem crossed a “red line,” according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

“Whoever attacks us will pay a heavy price,” he said.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel’s goal is to “restore long-term and complete quiet,” according to the Times.

He blamed the violence on Hamas, which the U.S. has designated as a terrorist organization.

“I would like to emphasize that the State of Israel has done everything and will do everything to protect freedom of worship. Hamas, which is targeting a civilian population, is the sole party responsible,” Gantz said.

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