For the second time since a shaky ceasefire ended last month’s 11-day conflict, Israeli fighter aircraft have resumed a series of air raids on Gaza.
According to Palestinian sources on the ground, Israeli missiles struck numerous armed factions’ positions northwest of Gaza City and north of Beit Lahia in the beleaguered enclave on Thursday.
A civil administration facility east of Jabaliya in the north, as well as an agricultural area east of Khan Younis in the south, were also targeted. There were no recorded casualties.
Following the airstrikes, Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for Hamas, the Gaza Strip’s ruling party, said in a statement that “the occupation’s bombing of resistance sites is a demonstrative show by the new Israeli government,” referring to the administration approved by Israel’s parliament on Sunday, with right-wing nationalist Naftali Bennett was sworn in as prime minister.
The statement said, “The resistance will be on the alert in defense of our people, our people, and our sacred places.”
An Israeli drone was shot down west of Gaza City, according to Hamas-run Al Aqsa TV.
There have also been allegations of Hamas firing heavy machine guns towards Israel, triggering the sound of air raid sirens.
According to Israeli media, the army launched an assault on Hamas sites within the Gaza Strip in reaction to activists’ continuing use of incendiary balloons.
According to Israel, Palestinian militants launched balloons for the third day in a row on Thursday. The balloons are simple devices designed to set fire to fields and vegetation near the Gaza border.
The army stated in a statement that it would “continue to dismantle Hamas’ military capabilities and infrastructure, and hold it accountable for what is occurring in Gaza.”
On Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to address security concerns and the region’s “ongoing difficulties.”
In a statement, US State Department spokesman Ned Price said, “The Secretary addressed the US commitment to Israel’s security, the significance of the US-Israel bilateral relationship, and the need to strengthen Israeli-Palestinian ties in practical ways.”
The statement said, “Secretary Blinken and Minister Lapid emphasized the solid relationship between the United States and Israel, as well as America’s steadfast commitment for Israel’s security.”
Israel also conducted additional airstrikes on Wednesday, allegedly targeting Hamas infrastructure.
During the 11-day assault on the Gaza Strip last month, at least 257 Palestinians were murdered, including 66 children.
On the Israeli side, rockets launched from Gaza killed 13 persons, including two toddlers.