Israeli air raids target Gaza for second time since ceasefire

Friday, 18 June, 2021 - 01:44

Israeli fighter jets have launched a series of air raids on the Gaza Strip for the second time since a shaky ceasefire ended last month’s 11-day war.

Palestinian sources on the ground said Israeli missiles on Thursday hit several sites belonging to armed groups northwest of Gaza City and north of Beit Lahia in the besieged territory. A civil administration building east of Jabaliya in the north was also targeted, in addition to an agricultural field east of the southern town of Khan Younis. No casualties were reported.

Following the air attacks, Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman for Hamas, the group running the Strip, said in a statement that “the occupation’s bombing of the resistance sites is a demonstrative show by the new Israeli government”, referring to the administration that was approved on Sunday by Israel’s parliament, with right-wing nationalist Naftali Bennett sworn in as prime minister.

“The resistance will be on the lookout in defence of our people, our people and our holy sites,” the statement added.

The Hamas-owned Al Aqsa TV reported that an Israeli drone was downed west of Gaza City.

Israeli media reported that the army attacked Hamas targets inside the Gaza Strip in response to the continued launching of incendiary balloons by activists within the territory.

In a statement, the army said it will “continue to destroy Hamas’ military capabilities and structures and hold it responsible for what is happening in the Gaza Strip”.

On Wednesday, Israel also carried out air raids, targeting what it is said were Hamas facilities.

At least 257 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed during the 11-day bombardment on the Gaza Strip last month. On the Israeli side, 13 people, including two children, were killed by rockets fired from Gaza.