Truce violated after Israeli forces launch airstrikes on Gaza

The attack comes weeks after Israeli airstrikes in May killed over 250 Palestinians, and hours after Israel allowed a far-right nationalist march in occupied East Jerusalem. (Twitter | Ajplus)

In response to incendiary balloons launched from Palestinian territory, Israel has begun air attacks in Gaza, the first since the end of 11 days of cross-border combat in May.

The flare-up, a first for Israel's new administration, came after a Jewish nationalist march in East Jerusalem on Tuesday (local time), which drew Hamas, Gaza's main militant group, threats of action.

On Wednesday, Israeli military aircraft bombed Hamas weapons complexes in Gaza City and the southern town of Khan Younis, saying it was prepared for "all possibilities, including further fighting in the face of continuous terrorist attacks originating from Gaza."

The strikes, according to the military, were in response to the balloons being launched, which ignited 20 fires in open fields near the Gaza border, according to the Israeli fire department.

Confirming the Israeli attacks, a Hamas official said Palestinians would continue their "brave resistance and defense of their rights and sacred places" in Jerusalem.

Thousands of flag-waving Israelis gathered near Jerusalem's Old City's Damascus Gate hours earlier before marching to Judaism's revered Western Wall, provoking Palestinian outrage and criticism.

Israel considers the entire city to be its capital, having conquered East Jerusalem in a 1967 conflict and later annexed it in a move that has not received international recognition.

Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestinian state that encompasses the West Bank and Gaza.

In preparation for anticipated rocket assaults from Gaza, Israel increased its deployment of the Iron Dome anti-missile system prior to Tuesday's march.

However, there was no trace of rocket fire from the enclave as the demonstrators dispersed after nightfall in Jerusalem.

The parade had been planned for May 10 as part of the "Jerusalem Day" celebrations commemorating Israel's takeover of East Jerusalem.

That march was directed at the last minute away from the Damascus Gate and the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, but it was not enough to stop Hamas from firing rockets at Jerusalem, which sparked the fighting in May.

Publish : 2021-06-16 12:48:00

Give Your Comments