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Palestinian al-Quds Brigades unveils new rocket named after fallen commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata

The al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement, has unveiled a new indigenously manufactured rocket that is named after a senior commander, who was assassinated in an Israeli airstrike on the besieged Gaza Strip two years ago.

The new rocket, dubbed Baha Abu al-Ata, was put on display during a mass ceremony attended by thousands of the group’s supporters in Gaza City on Friday evening.

Abu al-Ata and his wife were killed in an Israeli air raid targeting their home in the Gaza Strip on November 12, 2019.

Medics and local sources said at the time that the raid in Gaza’s Shejaiya neighborhood also wounded four of their children and a neighbor. The killings triggered clashes between Israeli forces and Gaza-based Palestinian resistance fighters.

According to Islamic Jihad, Abu al-Ata was one of the most prominent members of its military wing and played a major role in carrying out operations against Israel.

Israel plans to detour Palestinian towns

Separately, a high-ranking Israeli army general said on Friday that the regime’s military forces will bypass some areas in the occupied territories while transporting ground forces to future war fronts.

Major-General Yitzhak Turgeman, chief of logistics for Israel’s military, said the army had marked out 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) of dirt tracks, which could act as wartime alternatives to roads, and had set up new anti-riot units to protect convoys.

“I’m really concerned about… the impact of violent disturbances on internal security and movement of transport convoys,” Turgeman told the Hebrew-language Maariv daily newspaper in an interview.

The remarks came after video clips appeared on social media, showing army vehicles wending through Umm al-Fahm city, located 20 kilometers (12 miles) northwest of Jenin, during a drill.

The local municipality issued an open letter, condemning the presence of Israeli military forces in the area as “unacceptable and hurtful to residents’ feelings.”

Extremist settlers, Israeli army chop down Palestinian almond trees in West Bank

Moreover, Israeli military forces and extremist Jewish settlers have chopped down dozens of trees in the Palestinian town of Beit Ummar, located eleven kilometers northwest of al-Khalil, in the southern part of the West Bank.

The Palestinian Information Center, citing local media activist Mohammed Awad, reported that Israeli forces and settlers uprooted more than 130 almond trees and bulldozed five dunams (5,000 square meters) of Palestinian-owned agricultural land in the town.

He noted that the destruction was carried out in order to facilitate expansion of the nearby illegal settlement of Karmei Tzur.

The activist stressed that the affected Palestinian families have title deeds proving their ownership of the land.

Settlers assault Palestinians in West Bank, hurt several

In another development, dozens of extremist settlers attacked Palestinians and left-wing activists near the settlement of Bat Ayin south of al-Quds on Friday.

According to eyewitnesses, settlers began to attack Palestinians who had arrived in the area as part of the olive harvest. 

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank and East al-Quds.

The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in the occupied territories in several resolutions.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East al-Quds as its capital.

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