In the first major flare-up since an 11-day battle last month, Israel claims it began strikes in Gaza overnight after Palestinians fired incendiary balloons from the enclave. According to the Israeli military, Hamas, the terrorist organization that governs Gaza, is on target. On Tuesday, 20 fires made by incendiary balloons in southern Israel. Hamas said the demonstrations were in reaction to an Israeli nationalist march in occupied East Jerusalem. There were no injuries on any side, and by Wednesday morning, the peace is back in place.
What are our current understandings of the strikes?
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) stated in a statement that its fighter planes had struck Hamas in Khan Younis and Gaza City.
Also, the IDF is “ready for all eventualities, including the restart of hostilities, in the face of ongoing terror actions”. It stated, adding that “terrorist activities” took place in the compounds. According to the Palestinian news agency Wafa, planes bombed a location south of Khan Younis in the Maen region and another south of Gaza City. Palestinians would continue their “brave struggle and protect their rights and historic places” in Jerusalem, a Hamas spokesperson declared on Twitter.
Therefore, the operations are in retaliation for “arson balloons fired from Gaza into Israel” on Tuesday, says IDF. Militants have been sending helium balloons and kites across the Gaza border in recent years, carrying canisters of burning fuel and explosive devices. Hundreds of flames have erupted in Israel, destroying thousands of hectares of forest and farmland.
Also, the air attacks were Israel’s first under its new administration, which entered office on Sunday. The new Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, is a right-wing nationalist who leads an eight-party coalition that spans Israel’s political spectrum. Separately, the IDF said soldiers shot a Palestinian woman who they said attempted a car-ramming and stabbing attack.