The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confirmed at approximately 22:00 (local time) on Sunday, February 23, that it had begun targeting Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) positions in the Gaza Strip in response to rockets it accused the group of firing across the border in Israel earlier in the day. The Gaza health ministry reportedly confirmed the injury of at least four people in the airstrikes. The IDF confirmed that it had successfully targeted military bases and weapons depots in Beit Lahiya, Rafah, and Khan Younis.
The IDF Home Front Command has forbidden large outdoor gatherings on Monday, February 24, and ordered schools near the Gazan border to close including in the cities of Ashkelon, Sderot, and Nevitot. Residents in such areas are only permitted to go to work on Monday if they are in close proximity to a bomb shelter.
Further cross-border fire is possible along the Israeli-Gazan border over the coming hours and days.
On the morning of February 23, Israeli armed forces killed a suspected Palestinian militant who reportedly attempted to place an improvised explosive device (IED) near the Israeli-Gazan border. After an IDF bulldozer prevented Palestinians from retrieving the militant's body, militants in the Gaza Strip began firing some 20 rockets across the border triggering warning sirens across southern Israel at approximately 17:30. The Eshkol Regional Council reported that multiple rockets fell in the area, but did not immediately report casualties or material damages.
Individuals in Israel and the Palestinian Territories are advised to monitor developments to the situation and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
Some Western governments advise their citizens against all travel to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and areas near the Israeli-Lebanese, Israeli-Syrian, and Israeli-Egyptian borders.
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