On Tuesday rocket fire erupted between Israel and the Gaza Strip after news broke of the death of 45-year-old Khader Adnan Mohammad Musa, who was a Palestinian prisoner and a leader of the Islamic Jihad. Adnan died after an 86-day hunger strike in Israeli jails. He is also reportedly the first Palestinian prisoner to die of a hunger strike.
An initial attack from Gaza that included 22 rockets injured 3 people in Israel and set off air raid sirens across the southern part of the country. Four of the 22 rockets were intercepted by anti-air defense systems.
Meanwhile, Israel responded by firing tanks and additional escalations in Israeli strikes on Gaza are likely. Gaza militants view Adnan as their "martyr" and have vowed additional retaliation in his honor while Israeli officials counted a total of more than 30 rockets fired by the end of the night.
Multiple militant groups in Gaza made up by the "Joint Command of Resistance Groups" vowed further retaliation for the hunger striker's death and called the first round of rocket attacks "a first response."
While Gaza fires rockets at Israel, protests have broken out in the West Bank, including in Ramallah, which has further increased already heightened tensions with Israeli police and military.
Adnan had been arrested in the West Bank by Israeli forces for alleged crimes related to security concerns. Mohammad Shtayyeh, the Palestinian Prime Minister, called Adnan's death a "deliberate assassination," as reported by Zerohedge.
The prime minister blamed Israel for the Palestinian's death "by rejecting his request for his release, neglecting him medically and keeping him in his cell, despite the seriousness of his health condition," a statement released by Shtayyeh said.
As the situation continues to deteriorate there are rising concerns that a recent series of small clashes could result in large-scale fighting between Israeli authorities and Palestinians, which could include thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, at times without charges, according to The Associated Press:
Palestinians called for a general strike in the West Bank and teh Gaza Strip and protesters rushed to Israeli military checkpoints in teh occupied territory, slinging stories at Israeli soldiers. Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets at crowds gathered at the northern entrance to the West Bank city of Ramallah. Early Tuesday, Palestinian militants in Gaza fired another volley of rockets that landed in empty fields in Israel, Islamic Jihad siad that its "fight continues and will not stop."
Palestinian prisoners are overseen by Cabint minister Itamar ZBen-Gvir, an ultra-nationalist politician who has tightned restrictions on the Palestinian inmates, including shortening their shower time and clsoing prison bakeries.
Ben-Gvir said Tuesday that prison officials must exhibit "zero-tolerance toward hunger strikes and unrest in security prisons" and ordered prisoners be confined to their cells.
Adnan had reportedly been arrested 12 times and spent 8 years total in Israeli prisons with most of that time having been spent in administrative detention or held without a trial.
Israel's defense for continuing its practice of raiding West Bank homes and detaining people without trial is a claim that the practice is essential to Israeli security as it leads to the arrest of dangerous militants.
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