February 26, 2013
JERUSALEM – A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck Israel on Tuesday as tensions are mounting in the region weeks ahead of President Barack Obama's visit.
Militants claiming affiliation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement took responsibility for the attack, saying they fired the rocket to avenge the death of a Palestinian in Israeli custody.
The detainee, Arafat Jaradat, 30, died over the weekend after interrogation by Israel's Shin Bet security services. Palestinian officials, citing an autopsy, said the detainee was tortured, while Israel says more tests are needed to determine the cause of death.
Jaradat's death sparked protests in the West Bank, including near the town of Bethlehem on Monday.
Two Palestinian teens, ages 13 and 16, were wounded in a confrontation with Israeli soldiers. The older boy was transferred to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital after being shot in the head and was in critical condition Tuesday, breathing through a respirator, officials said.
In the West Bank, Abbas on Tuesday accused the Israeli military of using increasingly harsh methods to clamp down on Palestinian rock-throwing protests.