GAZA, Friday, June 18, 2021 (WAFA) – Israel Friday overnight launched a series of airstrikes on the besieged Gaza Strip for the second time since the fragile ceasefire end last month’s 11-day Israeli onslaught, according to WAFA correspondent.
He said that an Israeli warplane fired three missiles at a site close to Sheikh Zayed Residential Towers, northeast of Beit Lahia in the northern war-torn strip, causing extensive material damages and setting the site ablaze.
Israeli missiles also hit other sites and open agricultural fields to the east of Jabaliya city in the northern strip, in the central strip and east of the southern city of Khan Younes, home to some two million population.
No casualties were reported though.
Israel claimed the attacks came in response to setting off incendiary balloons from Gaza into southern Israel.
Palestinian factions said that the incendiary balloons came in response to the provocative settler Flag March, which celebrates the occupation of the eastern part of Jerusalem in 1967.
Palestinians maintain that the provocative Jerusalem Day events are meant to intimidate Palestinian residents of Jerusalem and reflect Israel’s policies of settler-colonialism, ethnic cleansing and expulsions of the Palestinian population.
The strikes mark first major escalation since a ceasefire agreement on May 21 ended 11 days of Israeli onslaught that killed 260 Palestinians and wounded some 2,000 others.
Fourteen years following the Israeli “disengagement” from Gaza, Israel has not actually disengaged from Gaza; it still maintains control of its land borders, access to the sea and airspace.
Two million Palestinians live the Gaza Strip, which has been subjected to a punishing and crippling Israeli blockade for 12 years and repeated onslaughts that have heavily damaged much of the enclave’s infrastructure.
Gaza’s 2-million population remains under “remote control” occupation and a strict siege, which has destroyed the local economy, strangled Palestinian livelihoods, plunged them into unprecedented rates of unemployment and poverty, and cut off from the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories and the wider world.
Gaza remains occupied territory, having no control over its borders, territorial waters or airspace. Meanwhile, Israel upholds very few of its responsibilities as the occupying power, failing to provide for the basic needs of Palestinian civilians living in the territory.
Every two in three Palestinians in Gaza is a refugee from lands inside what is now Israel. That government forbids them from exercising their right to return as enshrined in international law because they are not Jews.