Israeli warplanes strike Hamas positions in Gaza

Evarado Alatorre
Junio 20, 2018

Earlier in the day the Israeli military said it struck nine Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip in a bid to deter Palestinians from launching incendiary kites and balloons into Israel.

It came after three rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, with only two crossing the border.

"The explosive kites and incendiary balloons are not child's play; they are deadly weapons created to kill our children", Bennett said at the start of his Jewish Home party's Knesset faction meeting.

Flying kites and balloons has become a new mode of resistance since Palestinians began their weekly protests near a fence separating the Gaza Strip from the occupied territories on March 30.

Some observers have questioned that strategy, noting that when Israel withdrew from the Strip in 2005, it left profitable agricultural infrastructure intact, which the Palestinians immediately destroyed.

Since major border protests broke out at the end of March, more than 300 fires have devastated several thousand hectares of fields and shrubland, the Israeli fire service has said.

The Israeli military says it is defending a sovereign border and accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover for attempts to breach the border fence and attack Israeli soldiers and civilians.

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Palestinian security sources said nobody was wounded in the morning air strikes.

Israel's deadly tactics in confronting the weekly Friday protests have drawn worldwide condemnation.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has circulated a document that warns Gaza is close to the brink of war and expresses shock over the number of Palestinians killed and wounded by Israeli live fire during protests, in a report obtained by AFP on Monday.

Israel has been accused of using excessive force against the protesters, a charge the country's leaders have denied.

Palestinians are demanding the right to return to the homes their families fled or were expelled from during the 1948 war surrounding the creation of Israel.

Israel and Egypt maintain a blockade of the strip, citing security reasons, which has caused an economic crisis and collapse in living standards there over the past decade.

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