Israeli forces launched airstrikes on its occupied Gaza Strip in Palestine after Palestinian groups in the besieged territory sent inflammable balloons into southern Israel. By launching the air raid, Israel violated the ceasefire agreement signed with Hamas. Early on Wednesday, the airstrikes marked the first flare-up between both sides since the eleven-day bombardment of Gaza from Israel in May and followed a protesting march in East Jerusalem by Jewish nationalists that drawn Palestinian criticism.
According to the Israeli military, its jet attacked Hamas compounds in Gaza City and the Khan Younas southern town. It also said that it was ready for all situations, including renewed fighting in response to nonstop terrorist acts coming from Gaza. The Israeli military stated that the raids came in response to the launching of the flammable balloons, which caused twenty blazes in open fields in societies nearby the Gaza border.
On the other side, a Hamas spokesperson confirmed the attacks from the Israeli military and said that Palestinian people would continue to pursue their courageous resistance and defend their basic human rights and holy sites in Jerusalem. At the moment, it was unclear about casualties due to the airstrikes in Gaza.
Safwat al-Kahlout of Al Jazeera, reporting from Gaza, said that Palestinian troops told him that they didn’t receive any orders from their commanders to respond to the latest attacks from the Israeli forces. Al-Kahlout also noted that Hamas didn’t mention reprisal to the attacks in their statement for confirming the Israeli airstrikes.
First Air Raid from Israeli since New Coalition Government of Bennett
Since the new coalition government under the leadership of right-wing nationalist Naftali Bennett, the Israeli raids were the first on the Gaza strip. Bennett became the new prime minister of the country to end the pro-long twelve-year rule of Benjamin Netanyahu. On Monday, the new government approved a confrontational march of Israeli far-right nationalists and pro-settler groups through East Jerusalem.
Thousands of protestors, waving, waving flags and some of them chanting Death of Arabs marched in East Jerusalem on Tuesday, drawing condemnation and anger from Palestinians. Likewise, in another anti-Arab chant, the Israeli protestors also screamed: ‘May your village burn.’
Racist Slogans were a Humiliation to the Israeli People
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid took Twitter to condemn and said those shouting racist slogans from the demonstrators were a disgrace to the Israeli people. Further, he added that extremists for whom the Israeli flag signifies racism and hate are unjustifiable and abominable.
בלתי נתפס איך אפשר להחזיק דגל ישראל ביד ולצעוק “מוות לערבים” באותו הזמן. זו לא יהדות ולא ישראליות, וזה בטח לא מה שמסמל הדגל שלנו. האנשים האלה הם חרפה לעם ישראל.
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid🟠 (@yairlapid) June 15, 2021
The so-called March of the Flags marked Israel’s anniversary 1967 occupation of the eastern part of the city and came as tensions remain high over Israel’s strategic forced dislocation of Palestinian families from the neighboring of Sheikh Jarrah. Before the march, the Israeli police force forcibly removed several Palestinians from outside the Damascus Gate of Old City.
Police arrested at least seventeen Palestinians and wounded thirty-three others as Israeli police fired stun grenades in the nearby areas of Damascus Gate. In May, Israeli airstrikes in Gaza killed at least two hundred and fifty-six Palestinians, including sixty-six children. On the other hand, Palestinian groups launched rockets that killed at least twelve people, including two children. The escalation between the two sides ended after eleven days with an international-brokered truce.