Saturday, October 31, 2020

Gaza hit by largest Israeli airstrike since 2014

July 17, 2018
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [Gaza] [ceasefire] [Israeli violence] [Hamas]

On Saturday afternoon, Gaza experienced the largest Israeli airstrike since 2014. 

The developments for the violent weekend began on Friday, when thousands of Palestinians gathered as part of the on-going Great March of Return protests at the Gaza border.
According to the Health Ministry, two Palestinians were killed during Friday’s protest, and more than 220 were injured.
The growing tensions escalated to rockets and mortars being fired across the border, by both Hamas and Israel.
Israel announced that the strikes against Hamas were “in response to the terror acts instigated during violent riots that took place along the security fence” on Friday.
The airstrikes on Saturday were the largest since the 2014 Gaza War.
The dozens of airstrikes on Saturday killed two Palestinian teenagers. Three Israelis were wounded from a retaliation rocket into a residential home in Israel.
Israel announced that the attacks were aimed at hitting military targets. In the morning of the raids, Israeli fighter jets hit two 'Hamas terror tunnels’, along with other coastal infrastructure.
The Israeli military cited that the targets of the raids included “complexes used to prepare arson terror attacks and a Hamas terror training facility.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated regarding the strikes: “The Israeli army delivered its most painful strike against Hamas since the 2014 war and we will increase the strength of our attacks as much as necessary.”
In the evening of the attacks on Saturday, July 14, a cease-fire agreement was announced between Hamas and Israel. The deal was brokered by Egypt.
However, a mere few hours after the deal, an explosion hit a building in Gaza on Sunday morning. Sunday morning’s strikes marked the fourth airstrike within 24 hours.
The explosion killed two more Palestinians. The Gaza Health Ministry said that the airstrikes were a clear violation of the brokered cease-fire.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) have said as tensions on the border are increasing, a division of the military will go ahead with a wide-scale simulating exercise in Gaza City.
The drill includes the simulation of raids, open terrorist chases, and dealing with underground threats such as bombs and explosives.
Officials of the division have said the drill is of importance, as they prepare for potential escalation against Hamas. The IDF has also stated that the drill has been in the works for over a year.
The Great March of Return protests have been ongoing since March 2018. Israel has often dismissed the grassroots demonstrations as a Hamas ploy for increasing terrorism against Israel.
Since the start of the protests, over 130 people have died and the Israeli army has injured over 15,000. The protests main demand has been for Palestinian refugees to have the right to return to their homes.
Additionally, the campaign protests the 11-year-old Gaza blockade and the move of United States embassy into Jerusalem.

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