Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Four rockets fired into Israel from Syria intercepted by Iron Dome

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Four rockets launched from Syria into Israel early Tuesday were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, the Israeli Defense Force said in a statement.

No additional information about the rocket launch was immediately available.

NETANYAHU PUSHED US POLICY CHANGE ON SETTLEMENTS FOR MONTHS, REPORT SAYS

The report comes hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s announcement on Monday that the U.S. government will ease its stance on Israeli settlements in the West Bank, essentially undermining Palestinian claims regarding land sought for a future state. It was not clear whether the rocket launch was directly linked to the announcement.

Pompeo essentially rejected a 1978 State Department legal opinion holding that civilian settlement in the occupied territories are “inconsistent with international law.” He also said the White House was reversing an Obama administration directive that allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution declaring the settlements a “flagrant violation” of international law.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Pompeo’s decision.

“This policy reflects an historical truth – that the Jewish people are not foreign colonialists in Judea and Samaria,” Netanyahu’s office said. “Israel remains ready and willing to conduct peace negotiations with the Palestinians regarding all final status issues in an effort to achieve a durable peace, but will continue to reject all arguments regarding the illegality of the settlements.”


Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki rejected the announcement in a lengthy statement and called on the international community to “respond firmly to such destructive behavior by supporting Palestine’s efforts at the international level to protect the two-state solution.”

“Allowing this agenda to prevail would ensure the demise of the international order and cause irreversible damage to the achievements of humanity over the past seven decades and threatens to plunge the world into chaos and violence,” he said.

Last week, the Israeli military carried out a pair of targeted airstrikes on senior Islamic jihad commanders in Gaza and in Syria. This prompted militants in Gaza to send a barrage of at least 50 rockets over the border into Tel Aviv, with 20 intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system.

An Israeli airstrike killed Bahaa Abu el-Atta and his wife in their home in eastern Gaza Tuesday, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said. Syrian officials said another Israeli airstrike in Damascus targeted another Islamic Jihad commander, Akram al-Ajouri, who was not harmed. Israeli warplanes fired three missiles at al-Ajouri’s home, killing his son and granddaughter, according to Syria’s state-run news agency.

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The Israeli army confirmed in August that it launched an attack into Syria in an effort to thwart a planned drone strike organized by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ elite Quds Force, the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz, reported. According to Syrian opposition activists, that attack killed three people.

Fox News’ Andrew O’Reilly and Talia Kaplan contributed to this report.

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