GAZA: Israeli planes carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Saturday. Israel said the air raids were in response to rockets fired by Palestinians into southern Israel.
The early morning airstrikes targeted two training camps belonging to Hamas, causing no injuries, officials and witnesses said.
At least two rockets were fired into Israel late on Friday, Israeli military said. One struck the border town of Sderot, damaging a bus but causing no injuries. A second was shot down by a missile defense system, the military said.
Meanwhile, Palestinians clashed Friday with Israeli security forces in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank after the Hamas group called for a “day of rage” over tensions at the Al-Aqsa mosque site.
In Jerusalem, three police were injured as a firebomb struck their van in the Jabal Mukaber district and eight Palestinians were arrested, including at least three youths, police said.
Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets as protesters pelted them with stones in city neighborhoods around the Mount of Olives, including in Shuafat refugee camp.
But the situation was calm in the Old City and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.
Officials said about 3,000 police had deployed after three days of violence this week at the sensitive site during the Jewish new year.
In the West Bank, an AFP correspondent reported that skirmishes were more intense than normal for a Friday, which has become a day of protests following weekly Muslim prayers.
At Kafr Kaddum near Nablus, Israeli fire wounded three Palestinians in their arms and legs, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.
Youths hurled projectiles at police near Ofer prison, Qalandiya checkpoint and Jalazun refugee camp — flashpoints in the long-running conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.
The Red Crescent said a total of seven Palestinians were wounded by live fire and 44 by rubber bullets.
The protesters adopted the same slogan everywhere.
“By our soul and our blood, we sacrifice ourselves for you Al-Aqsa,” hundreds of them gathered in Nablus and the Gaza Strip chanted.
Al-Aqsa mosque it is a major holy site in Islam.
Police had set up heavily manned checkpoints on streets leading up to the site on Friday, before an estimated 8,000-10,000 worshippers prayed, down from the average of 25,000-35,000.
“It’s a frontline,” said Mazen Shawish, 52. “You have to go though 20 military checkpoints to get to the mosque.”
Hundreds of young men denied entry prayed just outside the Old City walls.
Police said they had an intelligence warning that Arab youths were planning fresh confrontations and decided to keep them away by limiting the age of worshippers to 40 and above for men.
In Jordan, thousands of protesters rallied in the capital Amman and other cities to denounced Israeli “violence” at Al-Aqsa.