Israel claimed to have carried out airstrikes on the Gaza Strip early this Sunday after launching incendiary balloons into Israeli territory from the Palestinian enclave. “The raids targeted a military complex of Hamas (in power in Gaza, editor’s note) used for the manufacture of weapons and for training as well as the entrance of a terrorist tunnel adjacent to the city of Jabalia”, according to a statement of the Israeli army.
“The strikes were in retaliation for the launching of incendiary balloons by Hamas on Israeli territory and the violent riots which took place yesterday” this Saturday, according to the statement. The Gazan authorities did not immediately deplore any casualties.
Bush fires in Israel
Speaking from Washington, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said he held Hamas responsible for any disturbance from the Palestinian enclave. “As I said before, our actions in Gaza will serve our interests,” he told reporters. “As far as I am concerned, the address (of those responsible) has been and remains that of Hamas.”
This Saturday evening, clashes erupted between the Israeli army and Palestinians responding to the call of several groups in Gaza to protest in particular against the blockade imposed for nearly 15 years by Israel on the overpopulated Palestinian enclave. The military used tear gas and stun grenades as protesters burned tires. According to the Gazan Ministry of Health, 11 Palestinians were injured in the clashes, three of them by live ammunition.
For their part, Israeli firefighters reported that incendiary balloons launched from Gaza had started bushfires in Israel. About 40 people were injured on Saturday August 21 by Israeli gunfire, according to the Gazan authorities, including a 12-year-old Palestinian who died on Saturday. A member of the Israeli security forces, hit by gunfire, is still in critical condition.
Eleven days of war in May
The week was then peppered with incidents, with Israeli raids, the launching of incendiary balloons from Gaza and clashes at the border fence separating the enclave from the Hebrew state.
Israel and Hamas fought an eleven-day war in May, in which 260 Palestinians were killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza, including fighters, according to local authorities. In Israel, rocket fire from Gaza killed 13 people, including a soldier, according to police and military.
Egypt reopened the Rafah border crossing point to Gaza in both directions on Sunday, after a partial reopening on Thursday. The only opening of the Gaza Strip to the outside world that is not controlled by Israel, this crossing point was closed on Monday.