Israel launches air strikes on besieged Gaza

Pablo Tucker
June 16, 2021

It is the first major flare-up since 11 days of fighting between the two sides ended in a ceasefire on 21 May.

Palestinian PM Shtayyeh said "provocation and aggression against our people, Jerusalem and its sanctities that must end" even as UN Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland urged for calm with "UN and Egypt actively engaged in solidifying the ceasefire".

Israeli Knesset members Bezalel Smotrich, center, waves an Israeli flag together with other Jewish ultranationalists during the Flags March.

A Hamas spokesperson, confirming the Israeli attacks, said Palestinians would continue to pursue their "brave resistance and defend their rights and sacred sites" in Jerusalem.

With music blaring, hundreds of Jewish nationalists gathered and moved in front of Damascus Gate. Far-right Jewish extremists taking part in the parade chanted "Death to Arabs" and "This is our home".

A march was set to take place on 10 May, but then was re-routed to avoid the walled Old City's Muslim Quarter amid an escalation between the Israeli government and Hamas.

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

The coalition includes three parties that are headed by politicians who used to be Netanyahu allies, including 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.

While the route of the march usually does pass through the Damascus Gate, police have ordered that it be changed so that marchers enter the Old City through the Jaffa Gate instead, passing and pausing outside of the Damascus Gate on their way there. Ben Gvir waved an Israeli flag at the site, in what he said was a personal protest after police banned him from parading through the Muslim Quarter to reach the Temple Mount. 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.

During May's 11 days of cross-border violence, more than 240 people were killed in Gaza and at least 12 were killed in Israel.

Israel captured East Jerusalem in a 1967 war and later annexed it in a move that is not recognized internationally.

It considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians want east Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. The competing claims to the holy city by Palestinians and Israelis lie at the heart of the conflict and have sparked many rounds of violence.

Masked Palestinian man walks away after launching incendiary balloons towards Israel.

The Israeli Defence Force said that in response to the "arson balloons", its "fighter jets struck military compounds belonging to the Hamas terror organisation".

The IDF deployed Iron Dome missile interceptor batteries across the country and sent reinforcements to the West Bank.

New Public Security Minister Omer Barlev said Monday that the march will proceed as scheduled, following a meeting with Israel Police Chief Kobi Shabtai on preparations for the march.

Other reports by iNewsToday