The IAF targeted two Hamas weapons manufacturing and storage sites in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning after 10 rockets were fired in three waves from the Gaza Strip towards the Sderot area and Yad Mordechai in response to clashes that broke out at al-Aqsa on Tuesday night, according to the IDF Spokesperson's Unit.
It later also struck a military compound and multiple military positions controlled by the terrorist organization.
Palestinian factions in Gaza fired surface-to-air missiles at the Israeli aircraft carrying out the strikes, according to Palestinian reports. Rocket sirens sounded in Sderot and in Mabu'im, near Netivot, during the strikes.
One of the rockets fired overnight hit a factory in the Sderot industrial zone, five fell in open areas and the rest were intercepted by the Iron Dome.
יירוטים בשמי עוטף עזה | תיעוד@Itsik_zuarets https://t.co/f5B1RSPPQ1 pic.twitter.com/HOZInolSa6— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) April 5, 2023
No injuries were reported.
Earlier in the night, police entered al-Aqsa, firing stun grenades and working to remove the people barricaded inside. Palestinians in the mosque fired fireworks and threw stones at the Israeli forces. Dozens of Palestinians were reportedly injured in the clashes, with Palestinian media claiming that medics were prevented from reaching the site.
The police stressed that dozens of young adults armed with sticks, stones and fireworks, barricaded themselves in the mosque earlier in the evening in order to start a violent disturbance. The police added that they tried for hours to convince the young adults to exit the mosque peacefully, but were forced to forcefully enter the building after a continued refusal. One police officer was injured in the clashes.
Footage from the scene published by Palestinian media showed police officers hitting Palestinians in the building with chairs and batons and arresting many of them.
Arab League condemns Israeli forces' raid on Al-Aqsa mosque
The Arab League on Wednesday condemned a raid by Israeli forces on the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.
"The extremist approaches that control the policy of the Israeli government will lead to widespread confrontations with the Palestinians if they are not put to an end," League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement.
Palestinian terrorist groups warn of escalation
Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement Secretary-General Ziyad al-Nakhala warned against the clashes early Wednesday morning, saying "What is happening in the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque constitutes a serious threat to our sanctities, and the Palestinian people must be present with all its components for the inevitable confrontation in the coming days."
The head of Hamas's political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, warned that the clashes are "an unprecedented crime," calling on Palestinians to head to Jerusalem to clash with Israeli forces.