Israel has launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, the first since a truce ended 11 days of conflict last month, in response to incendiary balloons launched from the Palestinian territory.
The flare-up in violence, a first test for Israel’s new government sworn in three days ago, followed a march in East Jerusalem on Tuesday by Jewish nationalists that had drawn threats of action by Hamas, the ruling militant group in Gaza.
The Israeli military said its aircraft attacked Hamas armed compounds in Gaza City and the southern town of Khan Younis in the early hours of Wednesday, and was “ready for all scenarios, including renewed fighting in the face of continued terrorist acts emanating from Gaza”.
The strikes, the military said, came in response to the launching of the balloons, which the Israeli fire brigade reported caused 20 blazes in open fields in communities near the Gaza border.
A Hamas spokesman, confirming the Israeli attacks, said Palestinians would continue to pursue their “brave resistance and defend their rights and sacred sites” in Jerusalem.
Earlier in the day, Israeli police fired rubber-tipped bullets at Palestinians protesting against a march by Jewish ultranationalists through Arab neighbourhoods of Jerusalem, a provocative parade that threatened to damage the fragile Gaza ceasefire.
At one point, several dozen young men and teenagers, jumping in their air, chanted: “Death to Arabs!” Palestinian medics said Israeli police had wounded more than 30 people protesting against the parade.
Along the frontier inside Gaza, Palestinians also held rallies, with an unconfirmed report that an Israeli sniper shot one person in the leg. While no rockets were fired, militants attached incendiary devices to helium-filled balloons that floated into Israel, causing dozens of fires.
Every paragraph crammed with bias, spin and lies. You have to wait until the sixth paragraph when they reveal that, once again, the ultra-right lunatic fringe (who are now essentially in power) holding a march is the triggering event, and Israelis are shooting rubber bullets at Palestinians protesting these maniacs being on the street. Even then the fraud notes that the march "threatened to damage the fragile Gaza ceasefire". It didn't threaten to; it smashed it.
Interesting how they stress the "unconfirmed report" of snipers shooting people (again) at the Palestinian protest and just don't bother going into detail about how that was policed. Also, note the tortured language "Along the border, inside Gaza..." to describe a protest held....in Gaza. They have to make it somehow threatening to Israel so "Along the border" it is.
This is all basically Arab-slayer Bennet letting his core constituents know he's on their side. If a few Palestinians have to be maimed or wounded then meh. No biggie. So much for the mouthpiece articles in the run-up to the change of government talking about how this could be a moment of change and reform.
The clamour for Israel to face their constant human rights abuses and crimes against humanity seemed to fall off a cliff about two days after the "ceasefire". Strange that.