Rockets fired from Gaza into Israel hours after Biden visit

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military said Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired two rockets toward southern Israel early Saturday, hours after U.S. President Joe Biden concluded a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.

One of the rockets was intercepted by aerial defenses and the other fell in an open area, the military said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

No Palestinian group claimed responsibility for the rocket fire, which activated warning sirens in the coastal city of Ashkelon and the surrounding area.

Israel often blames Hamas, the militant group ruling Gaza, for any violence emanating from the Palestinian enclave.

Tension that soared in recent months had largely subsided in the run-up to and during Biden’s three-day trip to Israel and the West Bank.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Biden in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Friday.

Hamas dismissed Biden’s expressions of sympathy for the Palestinians, calling the United States “a partner in the aggression on our people.” It also criticized Abbas for meeting with Biden and reiterating his support for a peace process with Israel.

Hamas doesn’t recognize Israel. Since taking over Gaza by force in 2007, the militant group and Israel fought four deadly wars and numerous rounds of cross-border violence.

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