In response to these salvoes of rockets, fired throughout the day from Gaza, the Israeli army announced on Tuesday evening, May 2, that it was carrying out air raids on the Palestinian enclave. These strikes targeted various sites, including one of the Islamist movement Hamas, according to security sources and Palestinian witnesses. The Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades claimed to have responded with surface-to-air missile fire.

The firefights follow the death at 45 of Khader Adnane, an elderly senior leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Islamic Jihad who was on a hunger strike in an Israeli prison

Early Tuesday, the Israeli Prison Service announced the death of a prisoner affiliated with Islamic Jihad, “found unconscious in his cell” and then hospitalized. “Khader Adnane has chosen the hunger strike as a last resort, a non-violent way to protest against the oppression to which he and his people are subjected”, reacted the organization Physicians for human rights Israel, which had called for his “immediate” hospitalization after visiting him.


At a press conference at their home in Arraba, in the northern occupied West Bank, his wife, Randa Moussa, said his death, after almost three months on a hunger strike, was a “pride”. On Friday, she told Agence France-presse (AFP) that his conditions of detention were “very difficult” and that Israel had refused to transfer him to a civilian hospital.

On Tuesday, Ms Moussa added that she did not want “a drop of blood to be shed”. “We don’t want anyone responding to the martyrdom of Sheikh [Adnane], we don’t want anyone firing rockets and then hitting Gaza.”

But, as early as dawn, three rockets and a mortar shell were fired from Gaza into Israel, falling in wasteland or near the border fence, according to the Israeli military. Exchanges of fire – Israeli tanks on one side and rockets on the other – then took place in the afternoon.

Twenty-two rockets were fired, 16 of which fell into open terrain and four were intercepted by the defense system, the army said. Two fell in the Israeli town of Sderot and three people were injured by shrapnel there, rescue workers said.

The shootings were claimed, in a joint statement, by the armed groups in Gaza, who presented them as “a first response” to the death of Khader Adnane. After the death was announced, Islamic Jihad, an organization considered “terrorist” by Israel, the United States and the European Union, claimed that Israel “will pay the price for this crime”.

In August 2022, three days of clashes between Israel and Islamic Jihad left 49 Palestinians dead, including twelve members of Islamic Jihad according to the movement, and at least nineteen children according to the United Nations. About 200 rockets were fired by Islamic Jihad from Gaza into Israel, injuring three.

Israeli wounded in West Bank

On Tuesday morning, Palestinian merchants also closed their shops in the occupied West Bank, responding to a call for a general strike. In the north of this territory, an Israeli was injured by shards of glass and two vehicles were damaged by gunfire, according to the Israeli army, according to the search for suspects.

Khader Adnane began his hunger strike as soon as his incarceration began on February 5, the prison administration said, saying he “refused to undergo medical examinations and receive treatment”. He had been charged for his involvement in Islamic Jihad and for speeches in support of a hostile organization, an Israeli official told AFP on condition of anonymity. The military appeals court had rejected his request for release, according to this source.

While other inmates on hunger strike have succumbed to force-feeding, he is the first to die directly from such an action, Palestinian Prisoners Club president Qaddoura Fares told AFP. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh accused Israel of “murdering” Adnane by rejecting his calls to release him, and keeping him in his cell despite his serious condition.”