Israel Carries Out Airstrikes on Gaza in retaliation to inflammable balloons
Following the latest unrest, Israel has launched new airstrikes on Gaza in reprisal for an incendiary balloon launched from the Palestinian enclave, since a ceasefire ended May’s dispute.
According to security sources, Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Israeli-blockaded Gaza, said the airstrikes by Israel hit training sites. There were no injuries reported.
A statement from Israel’s army said: “In response to the arson balloons fired towards Israeli territory today, (military) fighter jets struck… a weapons manufacturing site belonging to the Hamas terror organisation.”
On Thursday, Israel’s fire service said that flammable balloon launches from Gaza had sparked four minor fires in the southern Eshkol region, on the Gaza border.
The flames were “small and not dangerous” and were quickly brought under control, a statement from the fire service said.
Note that the conflict between Israel and Palestine had killed 260 Palestinians including some fighters.
In Israel, 13 people were killed, including a soldier, by rockets fired from Gaza, the police and army said.
Israel has sustained a crippling blockade on Gaza since 2007, which the Jewish state says is necessary to contain armed groups in the enclave.
“A fire investigator… determined that all the fires were caused by incendiary balloons (from Gaza)”, the statement said.
Eleven days of deadly fighting between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas Islamist rulers stopped on May 21 with a ceasefire declaration.
There was no immediate indication as to which Gaza-based group was responsible for the balloon launch.
Tensions Rise In Jerusalem Since March
The airstrikes on Gaza come as hardline and right-wing extremist Jews marched through a controversial Arab-populated area in East Jerusalem on Tuesday. Since March, there has been a renewed wave of outrage among Palestinian Arabs.
The parade commemorates Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem during the 1967 Middle East War. On this occasion, hardline nationalist Jews organize a pride parade, which runs through the ancient areas of the city where most Muslims live.
During the march, hundreds of young Jewish people carry Israeli flags through the Muslim population, including at the Damascus Gate. Meanwhile, marchers also sing songs of courage and patriotism of the Israeli army. Yesterday, young Jews participating in the march chanted anti-Arab slogans, which were condemned by the Israeli government.
Israel’s new foreign minister, Yair Lapid, said in a statement that those who chanted racist slogans were “a source of disgrace to the Israeli people.”
“Shouting that everyone is anti-Semitic isn’t a policy or a work plan, even if it sometimes feels right,” he said.
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