4 Dead in Gaza Airstrikes as Israel Responds to Attacks From Hamas

Two Hamas militants were killed in an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on Saturday after rocket fire from the enclave hit an Israeli town, as the death toll in violence linked to President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital rose to four. 

The Israeli military said it had responded to rocket fire by striking four facilities belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip: two weapons manufacturing sites, a weapons warehouse and a military compound. It called the rockets fired at Israel — one of them hitting the town of Sderot, with no casualties reported — a “severe act of aggression.”

Violent confrontations were reported elsewhere Saturday but were less widespread than a day earlier. Riots had broken out in about 20 locations in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the army said. About 450 protesters burned tires and threw rocks along the Gaza border fence, while 600 took part in unrest in the West Bank, it said.

The diplomatic fallout also continued, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas canceling a planned meeting with Vice President Pence when he visits later this month, according to an aide cited by Israeli media.

Egypt’s Coptic Church said on Saturday that its pope had also canceled his meeting with Pence when he travels on to Cairo. It said the U.S. decision did not take into account the “feelings of millions of Arab people.”

The White House announcement Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital triggered widespread protests, with tens of thousands gathering across the region to show their anger. In the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military has used tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets to break up demonstrations. However, the sharpest escalation has been in the Gaza Strip.

Source: Associated Press