Palestine

Israel strikes Gaza from air for 2nd time in a week

The Israeli military launches airstrikes against the northern part of the Gaza Strip in a second round of aggression targeting the Tel Aviv-besieged Palestinian territory in less than a week.

The strikes hit the coastal sliver late Thursday, The Times of Israel reported.

The occupying regime’s military claimed that it had carried out the offensive after the Gaza-based resistance movement Hamas launched balloons “carrying suspected explosives and incendiary devices” into the occupied territories.

The forces specified the target of the aerial aggression as “a Hamas site” lying outside the city of Beit Lahiya.

The daily said the balloons — which the regime is yet to verify had been launched by Hamas — had caused a number of bushfires but no injuries.

‘Incendiary balloon’ of unknown origin

“Another balloon that carried a suspected explosive device was found near the city of Arad, some 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the coastal enclave. It was located by police and detonated in a controlled explosion,” it cited the Israeli police as saying.

“The origin of the balloon was not known,” the paper wrote.

Tel Aviv began enforcing an all-out land, aerial, and naval blockade on Gaza in 2007 after Hamas that has vowed to resist Israeli occupation and aggression rose to power in the enclave.

Ever since, the regime has been launching incessant aerial attacks on the territory for, what observers call, self-serving reasons. Since imposing the siege, it has also brought Gaza under three wholesale wars, killing thousands of Palestinians in each.

On Monday, Israeli warplanes targeted several locations in the central and southern Gaza against alleged Hamas positions. The military claimed the attacks had followed alleged rocket launches against the occupied territories a few hours earlier.

Hamas called the offensive “a message of escalation and aggression” and an attempt by the Israeli regime “to export its internal crises to the strip.”

“The valiant resistance, which is well aware of the occupation’s plans and way of thinking and knows how to deal with it, will not allow it to make Gaza an arena for exporting its crises,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said.

The escalation comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is entangled in a political and legitimacy crisis that boils down to his being charged in at least three corruption cases with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.

Israelis regularly hold thousands-strong rallies outside his residence, asking him to step down.

In recent weeks, thousands of protesters have also rallied, mainly in Tel Aviv and the holy occupied city of Jerusalem al-Quds, against Netanyahu’s mishandling of the COVID-19 outbreak.

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