Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

Israel military confirms airstrikes on Gaza

Mr Netanyahu has vowed he will return to power Mr Netanyahu has vowed he will return to power Credit AFP
Sandy Nunez | 16 June, 2021, 08:22

The airstrikes and balloons marked the first major flare-up between Israel and Gaza since a ceasefire on May 21 ended 11 days of heavy fighting that killed 260 Palestinians, according to Gaza authorities, and 13 people in Israel, the police and army there said.

Israeli aircraft on Wednesday carried out a series of airstrikes at militant sites in Gaza, the first such raids since a shaky cease-fire ended the war last month.

With music blaring, hundreds of Jewish nationalists gathered and moved in front of Damascus Gate.

At one point, several dozen youths, jumping and waving their hands in their air, chanted: "Death to Arabs!" Hamas called on Palestinians to "resist" the parade, a version of which helped ignite last month's 11-day Gaza war.

Medics said 33 Palestinians were wounded and police said two officers were injured and 17 people arrested.

He said it was "a provocation and aggression against our people, Jerusalem and its sanctities that must end".

Israeli police officers detain a Palestinian man during clashes that erupted ahead of a planned march by Jewish ultranationalists.

The former government of veteran premier Benjamin Netanyahu put off the march until Tuesday, a decision confirmed late Monday by the incoming government of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

"I am under the impression that the police are well prepared and that a great effort has been made to maintain the delicate fabric of life, and public safety", Barlev said.

Tensions are sure to be high whether or not the route is changed.

Far-right Religious Zionism party lawmaker MK Itamar Ben Gvir visits the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, June 10, 2021. Palestinian protesters repeatedly clashed with Israeli police over restrictions on public gatherings during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in April and May.

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Ultra-nationalist Israelis marched through east Jerusalem. While it was diverted from the Damascus Gate at the last minute, it was seen by Palestinians as an unwelcome celebration of Israeli control over what they view as their capital.

Israel, which annexed East Jerusalem in a move that has not won global recognition after capturing the area in a 1967 war, regards the entire city as its capital.

Israel's annexation of east Jerusalem is not recognized by most of the global community which says the city's final status should negotiated with the Palestinians - who claim the city's east as the capital of their future state.

Hamas issued a statement calling on Palestinians to show "valiant resistance" to the march.

The iconic Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City is Islam's third holiest site and a national symbol for all Palestinians.

The targets were used by Hamas' Khan Yunis and Gaza Brigades for "terror activities", according to the IDF.

Hamas spokesman Mohammed Hamadeh had earlier warned Israeli's "not to engage in a military escalation on the basis of the march".

Defence Minister Benny Gantz met with the military chief of staff, the police commissioner and other senior security officials.

Organisers consulted police on the best route for the march that begins at 1430 GMT to avoid friction with Arab residents, the government said. "Jews and Arabs alike", his office said.

United Nations deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said United Nations officials have made clear "the need for all sides to refrain from unilateral steps and provocations, for them to exercise restraint and allow for the necessary work to be done to solidify the current cease-fire".