Israel’s air force struck the Gaza Strip, on Sept. 15, 2016. The Israeli military said that this happened only after the Palestinians fired a rocket into southern Israel.
It was late Wednesday night, September 14, that the Palestinians sent off the rocket into open Israel grounds, and it exploded near the border close to Eshkol. This Palestinian device did not kill anyone, related the military.
The military said, on Wednesday, that a mortar shell had landed in the Golan Heights area, an Israeli-occupied ground. The Syrian conflict seemed to have affected this event.
Israel then reacted on Thursday with a strike of their own. They proceeded to bombard three areas in the Gaza Strip. The military aimed for empty agricultural lands, according to locals. Those areas were northern Gaza Strip Hamas, the governing entity in the Gaza Strip, and posts northwest of Beit Lahiya.
One attack hit empty agricultural land near an area used by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, reported Palestinian news website, Ma’an. This group serves as a Hamas military wing.
Additionally, the Israeli airstrikes hit another site around al-Shayma also northwest of Beit Lahiya. This initiated a fire in the area, that is allegedly used by Hamas.
While this was occurring, Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip attacked another site allegedly used by al-Qassam Brigades, called the al-Yarmouk site. This is in the eastern part of the city in the al-Shujaiyya neighborhood. No injuries here were reported.
According to Ma’an, an Israeli army spokesperson talked with the paper and confirmed that the Israeli army had attacked Hamas sites in the northern Gaza Strip. The spokesperson also said that their attack was in response to the Wednesday night rocket that had been launched.
Despite the existence of other Palestinian militant groups, the spokesperson said that Israel believes the Hamas movement is the cause of all the strikes on the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli air force had struck the Gaza Strip before, on August 21 and 22. Then, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) hit at least 30 Hamas, Islamic Jihad and many other militant group sites. These attacks also transpired after a rocket had hit a southern Israeli area. This area was the town of Sderot, which was a relatively calm area. This has been since the 2014 ceasefire, after the summertime Gaza war, reported Haaretz. And there were no casualties in Sderot.
The main difference, not counting the number of airstrikes, lies in the fact that the Sderot reactive attacks wounded five Palestinians. Ahfad al-Sahaba-Aknaf Bayt al-Maqdis, a group in the Gaza Strip, claimed responsibility for this rocket fire. The group, reported by Haaretz, has been known to challenge Hamas with missiles.
The IDF said that it had hit a number of Hamas targets. However, eyewitnesses in Palestine said that an IDF tank hit a water storage facility with six shells.
On July 1, the IDF hit more alleged Palestinian militant sites, in response to another attack. A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that had hit Sderot. This time, it had struck a daycare center but caused no casualties, reported Haaretz.
In May, a Palestinian woman died amidst consecutive days of numerous airstrikes and tank shelling. Another missile fired from the Gaza Strip caused this response.
Despite the bombings, missiles, seemingly misdirected shells, death, and overall destruction of the Gaza Strip, Israel and the Palestinian Authority agreed to build a gas pipeline to Gaza, according to The Times of Israel.
The Gaza Strip has only one power plant and it is on every eight hours. A Palestinian authority told The Times Of Israel earlier, that Israeli officials had given the green light. This prompted the Palestinians to search for funding from a number of countries.
Many donors pledged money to rebuild the Gaza Strip in 2014. Less than half of the pledged money has been doled out to Hamas and Israel, according to the World Bank.
The Palestinian economy seems to be in a rut with Gaza at a 42 percent unemployment rate and the West Bank at 18 percent. To aid their growth, the World Bank suggested that Israel should open its blockade of the Gaza Strip. It also said the Palestinian Authority should reduce pension payments in order to cut spending.
The Palestinian Authority and Israel seem to be making efforts to better the Gaza Strip. This is despite the fact that IDF’s airstrikes on the area.
By Osveen Funwi
Edited by Jeanette Smith
HAARETZ: Less Than Half of Gaza Donations Reach Impoverished Strip, World Bank Says
Business Standard: Israeli air force launches raids on Gaza Strip
THE TIMES OF ISRAEL: Israel, PA to move ahead with Gaza gas pipeline
HAARETZ: Israel Hits Dozens of Hamas Targets in Response to Rocket Fire, Senior IDF Official Says
MA’AN NEWS AGENCY: Israeli forces carry out airstrikes on Gaza Strip, target 3 alleged Hamas sites
Image by Marius Arnesen Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License