Israel bombs Gaza City in 2nd day of strikes since breaking cease-fire

19 Juin, 2021, 01:36 | Auteur: Yves Courtet
  • Worshippers raise the Palestinian flag at the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City

Israeli warplanes launched air strikes on Gaza overnight from Thursday to Friday and hit some military facilities of Hamas, Palestinian security sources said.

"The IDF will continue to strike military capabilities and infrastructure belonging to the terror organisation, and holds the Hamas as responsible for all events transpiring in the Gaza Strip", the statement added. Ten people, including one soldier and a 6-year-old child, were killed in Israel by Hamas rockets, according to Magen David Adom, Israel's national emergency service.

Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, the Israeli military's chief of staff, directed the nation's forces to prepare for the possibility the truce could crumble.

The move came after militants in the Palestinian territory again set off incendiary balloons in southern Israel, Israel's military said in a statement. The flare-up came after a controversial flag-waving march by Israeli nationalists was allowed to proceed through East Jerusalem on Tuesday, stoking tensions in Israel and Gaza less than a month after a ceasefire ended 11 days of fighting between Hamas and Israeli forces.

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The air strikes on the Palestinian enclave earlier this week were the first under Israel's new government headed by Naftali Bennett, whose ideologically disparate coalition on Sunday ousted long-serving prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli media reports said that the incendiary balloons launched from Gaza caused at least eight fires in Israeli communities close to the border. Israel then responded on Thursday with the broader series of airstrikes.

Israel said it struck Hamas sites in Khan Younis and the Gaza Brigades on Wednesday.

The new round of fighting comes as Gen. Kochavi prepares to fly to the US this weekend for a series of meetings with American military and political leaders. The Biden administration worked intensively with Israel, Egypt, Qatar and other Middle East leaders to broker a truce to end last month's conflict. But that will prove to be impossible if mediators are unable to keep the cease-fire from crumbling.

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