Palestinian rockets reach west of Jerusalem

STORY: Palestinian rockets were fired towards Jerusalem on Sunday (August 7), signalling a new reach and resolve as Israel pressed on with air strikes in the Gaza Strip.

Fighting erupted on Friday (August 5) after Israel launched rockets in what it said was an operation targeting the militant Islamic Jihad group.

Israel said the strikes were pre-empting an attack by the group meant to avenge the arrest of a group leader in the occupied West Bank.

Israeli strikes overnight in Rafah killed Khaled Mansour, one of Islamic Jihad’s senior commanders.

A local resident described the situation as “horrifying.”

He said the house was targeted by multiple rockets, leaving body parts on the ground.

Islamic Jihad said it fired rockets toward Jerusalem in retaliation.

Israel said it would stop shooting if Islamic Jihad did.

In what was seen as a further affront to Palestinians, Jewish visitors were admitted to a contested mosque compound in Jerusalem on Sunday.

Much of southern Israel has been paralysed by rocket salvoes and residents in cities including Tel Aviv have been sent to shelters.

Casualties on the Israeli side have been prevented by the Iron Dome antimissile system, which an army spokesman said had a 97% success rate in shooting down rockets.

About 30 Palestinians, at least a third of them civilians, have been killed in Gaza since the fighting erupted.

The flare-up has worried world powers and prompted ceasefire mediation by Egypt.