Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday fired a rocket toward Israel, but it fell short of the border and landed inside the coastal enclave, the army said.
The attempted attack came amid an increase in rocket launches from the Strip and general unrest in the area following US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Hours earlier, the IDF denied Palestinian reports that it killed two members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group as they were riding a motorcycle in the northern Gaza Strip.
The two men were reportedly riding through the town of Beit Lahiya when their motorcycle exploded.
Islamic Jihad’s military wing, the Jerusalem Brigades, said in a statement on its website that the two Palestinian men died while on a “jihad mission.” In contrast to Palestinian media reports, the statement did not explicitly blame Israel for their deaths.
Also on Tuesday, as protests over the Trump declaration continued, police said two Palestinian minors were detained for throwing rocks at the Light Rail train in Jerusalem. The two hurled rocks at the train as it passed through the predominantly Palestinian neighborhood of Shuafat, shattering one of the train’s windows. They were brought in for questioning along with their parents.
In an address last Wednesday from the White House, Trump defied worldwide warnings and insisted that after repeated failures to achieve peace a new approach was long overdue, describing his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the seat of Israel’s government as merely based on reality.
The move was hailed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and by leaders across much of the Israeli political spectrum, but criticized internationally, especially in the Arab world. Trump stressed that he was not specifying the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in the city, and called for no change in the status quo at the city’s holy sites.
Hamas last week called for a new intifada against Israel over Trump’s announcement, and urged Palestinians to confront soldiers and settlers, allowing thousands of Gazans to confront Israeli troops at the Gaza border fence in recent days.