Israel launched air strikes, following rocket firing from GAZA:
The Israeli strikes were claimed by Palestinian media to have hit the agricultural areas in Gaza, but the Israeli military claims they were targeting Hamas positions. Following months of relative peace in the region, Israel resumed air attacks on the Gaza Strip after rocket fire from the Palestinian enclave targeted the city of Ashkelon in southern Israel. Israel launched Air Strikes!
Israeli strikes on agricultural land in Gaza were reported by Palestinian media on Saturday, although the Israeli military stated they targeted military infrastructure belonging to Hamas, the Palestinian party that administers the region.
“Israel Defense Forces aircraft hit a number of Hamas terror targets in the Gaza Strip in response to the rocket launch,” the Israeli military said in a statement.
In Gaza or Israel, there were no immediate reports of casualties. Hamas did not immediately respond, nor did any of the enclave’s other groups claim the credit.
The air strike came just one day after Israel launched military assaults on Jenin in the occupied West Bank, killing three Palestinians and injuring ten more.
An Israeli observation balloon crashed and plummeted in the northern Gaza Strip on Friday as well. The men killed in Jenin were identified as Baraa Lahlouh, 24, Yusuf Salah, 23, and Laith Abu Suroor, 24 by the Palestinian news agency Wafa.
One of those killed was a Hamas member, according to Hamas, but another group claiming to be affiliated with Palestinian rival Islamic Jihad claimed the dead men as its own. The last cross-border missiles were fired in April, when Israeli airplanes attacked a Hamas weapons manufacturing facility in the Gaza Strip, according to the IDF.
Although the cross-border firing on Saturday did not appear to be a precursor to a larger escalation, violence has increased in Jerusalem, the occupied West Bank, and Israel in recent months.
More than 60 Palestinians have been slain by Israeli forces this year, according to the Palestinian health ministry, many of them in raids. Since March, 19 Israelis have been slain in a series of Palestinian attacks.
Source: Al Jazeera and Wafa News Agency
As reported and edited by the team of the Youth Diplomacy Forum.