Israel launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Thursday night in a second attack since the end of the 11 days of cross-border fighting last month, AP reported. The strikes were reportedly in response to incendiary balloons launched by Palestine’s militant group Hamas. This was the second air attack in three days.
“In response to arson balloons launched from Gaza into Israel, we struck military compounds and a rocket launch site belonging to Hamas in Gaza,” the Israeli Army said in a tweet.
Contrary to Israeli forces’ claims that they only attacked Hamas compounds, Al Jazeera reported that a civil administration building east of Jabaliya town and an agricultural field east of the southern town of Khan Younis were also targeted.
No casualties have been reported so far.
“The occupation’s bombing of the resistance sites is a demonstrative show by the new Israeli government,” Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesperson for Hamas, said after the attack. “The resistance will be on the lookout in defence of our people, our people and our holy sites.”
Barhoum was referring to the coalition government led by Naftali Bennett, which assumed power in Israel earlier this month, putting an end to Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year regime. Those supporting the Bennett government include four members of the Mansour Abbas-led United Arab List. It is the first party in an Israeli government to be drawn from the country’s 21% Arab minority, who are Palestinian by culture and heritage.
On Wednesday, Israel launched the first attack on Gaza since the ceasefire with Hamas on May 21. It had said that the raids were in response to balloons that caused 20 fires in open fields in communities near the Gaza border.
Last month’s ceasefire brought an end to 11 days of violence that left more than 240 people dead. Palestine suffered a majority of the casualties. The Hamas-controlled health ministry said 232 people were killed. Israel, meanwhile, claimed there are at least 150 Hamas militants among the dead in Gaza.