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Hamas militants fire rockets at Israel following violent clashes in Jerusalem

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The Israeli military fires back, and several Palestinians, including children, are dead in Gaza

Mustafa Hassona/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip fired rockets at Israel on Monday following violent clashes between Palestinian protesters and police in Jerusalem.

The Israeli military retaliated, issuing airstrikes on Gaza military sites. Reports say several Palestinians are dead in Gaza following the strikes.

What are the details?

The Associated Press reported that Hamas fired "dozens" of rockets into Israel, "including a barrage that set off air raid sirens as far away as Jerusalem."

StopAntisemitism.org shared video on Twitter purportedly from Israel, writing, "Shocking footage out of Israel - children and their mothers scramble for shelter as rocket sirens go off. In the last hour alone, more than a dozen rockets have been fired from Gaza, including at Jerusalem."

Further footage posted online showed Israel's Iron Dome intercepting the rockets fired upon their country by Hamas from the Gaza Strip.

In reaction to the news, Rep. Kathy Manning (D-N.C.) issued a statement condemning Hamas, writing, "Hamas has fired more than 50 rockets into Israel, including six rockets aimed at Jerusalem. These acts of terrorism fan the flames of hate, threaten Israeli and Palestinian civilians, and are a violation of international law. We condemn these deadly attacks, and are grateful that the Iron Dome missile defense program has prevented mass casualties."

Another Democrat, Rep. Ilhan Omar (Minn.) reacted by blaming Israel for defending itself, tweeting, "Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection. Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don't exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It's unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid."

According to the AP, "the rocket fire drew heavy Israeli retaliation in the Gaza Strip," and "health officials said at least 20 people, including nine children, were killed in fighting, making it one of the bloodiest days of battle between the bitter enemies in several years."

What prompted Monday's violence?

According to CBS News, "confrontations between Israeli security forces and [Palestinian] protesters have been escalating for weeks," and the "clashes started at the beginning of Ramadan, almost a month ago."

But things came to head on Monday, after Hamas issued an ultimatum demanding Israeli security forces abandon the al Aqsa mosque area in Jerusalem or face rocket fire.

Reuters referred to al Aqsa as "another flashpoint in the holy city," and reported:

As Israel celebrated "Jerusalem Day" earlier on Monday, marking its capture of eastern sections of the holy city in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, violence erupted at the mosque, Islam's third most sacred site.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said more than 300 Palestinians were injured in clashes with police who fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas in the compound, which is also revered by Jews at the site of biblical temples.

The skirmishes, in which police said 21 officers were also hurt, at al Aqsa had died down by the 6 p.m. (1500 GMT) deadline Hamas had set.
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