The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) launched airstrikes on Hamas positions in the Gaza Strip on Friday, June 26, in response to two rockets fired earlier on Friday from the strip. Warning sirens were sounded on Friday evening (local time) in Sderot due to rocket fire from Gaza. There were no reports of casualties or damage caused by the rockets. In response, Israeli jets were sent to target weapons factories in the central and southern Gaza Strip, with strikes reported in the Khan Yunis area. A tank shell was also reportedly fired by the IDF at a Hamas observation post to the east of Deir el-Balah. There have been no confirmed casualties caused by the IDF attack, and the extent of the material damage caused has not been revealed.
Further cross-border attacks are possible in the coming days and a heightened security presence is anticipated along the Gaza border.
Tensions in Israel and the Palestinian Territories have increased in recent weeks as Israel prepares to annex areas in the West Bank and Jordan Valley in line with US President Donald Trump's January 2020 "Deal of the Century" Middle East peace plan. The plan has been widely criticized by Palestinians and frequent protests have been held to condemn it. On Thursday, June 25, Hamas warned that Israel's annexation plan amounted to a declaration of war.
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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