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Israel launches air-strikes on Gaza after 'arson attacks'

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its fighter jets had hit "military compounds" operated by Hamas in Khan Yunis

Wednesday June 16, 2021 7:41 AM, ummid.com with inputs from Agencies

Jerusalem March

[The latest escalation in Gaza followed a march by Jewish nationalists in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday.]

Gaza: The Israeli air force launched air raids on the Gaza Strip early on Wednesday after Palestinians in the besieged enclave sent "incendiary balloons" into southern Israel, Israel’s military and witnesses in Gaza said.

Explosions were heard in Gaza City in the early hours of Wednesday.

Several balloons were sent from Gaza into Israel earlier on Tuesday, which caused multiple fires, according to the Israeli fire service, the BBC reported.

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

It followed a march by Jewish nationalists in occupied East Jerusalem on Tuesday, which had drawn threats from Hamas, the militant group that runs Gaza.

In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its fighter jets had hit "military compounds" operated by Hamas in Khan Yunis and Gaza City.

It is not immediately clear if the air strikes have caused any injuries.

A Hamas spokesman, confirming the Israeli attacks, told the Reuters news agency that Palestinians would continue to pursue their “brave resistance and defend their rights and sacred sites” in Jerusalem.

Israel's fire service said the incendiary balloons launched earlier from Gaza had caused at least 20 fires in fields by communities in southern Israel.

This is the first violent exchange since Israeli's new coalition government came to power last weekend, headed by Naftali Bennett and drawing an end to Benjamin Netanyahu's 12-year run as prime minister.


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