Israel airstrikes hit Gaza for first time since ceasefire truce

Explosions light-up the night sky above buildings in Gaza City as Israeli forces shell the Palestinian enclave, early on June 16, 2021. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

Israeli aircraft launched airstrikes at various sites in Gaza, the first incident since a ceasefire ended 11-day long violence that killed more than 150 Palestinians including children and women last month.

Huge explosions were heard in Gaza City in the early hours of Wednesday while there are no reports of causalities so far.

Israeli military claimed that it has targeted the sites of Hamas fighters, who were allegedly planning to launch attacks.

The military in a statement said that it was ‘ready for all scenarios, including renewed fighting in the face of continued terrorist acts emanating from Gaza’.

On the other hand, a Hamas spokesman said that people of Palestinians would continue to show resistance and defend their rights and sacred sites in Jerusalem.

On Tuesday, thousands of far-right Israeli people paraded in occupied East Jerusalem to show their power. Amid the flag-waving march, they also chanted “Death to Arabs!” and “May you village burn” sparking fears of resurgence of violence.

In a retaliatory move, Palestinians in Gaza launched incendiary balloons that caused 20 fires in southern Israel.

These are the first airstrikes by Israeli forces since May 201 ceasefire agreement between the two sides. The truce had ended the 11-day long violence in which multiple buildings were targeted by Israeli force in Gaza, leaving at least 243 people dead.  On the other hand, 12 people were killed in Israel.

The march by the ultranationalist people is a test for Israel’s new government, led by the far-right politician Naftali Bennett.

He previously said the government could not tolerate incendiary balloons – and must take action as if Hamas had fired rockets into Israel.

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