Israel strikes Gaza Strip Amid Tension, Is the War on Gaza Started?

Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes on positions of Palestinian resistance factions in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

The raids targeted three positions of Islamic Jihad group and a position of Hamas in central and southern Gaza Strip, according to local residents.

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed the airstrikes on Twitter, saying the army “is currently operating in the Gaza Strip”.
There were no reports yet of casualties.

Tuesday’s attacks came hours after the Israeli army said a volley of mortar shells were fired from the Palestinian territory into Israel, but were intercepted by the Iron Dome aerial defense system.

The shelling came after four Palestinians were killed in Israeli attacks on positions of Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip in the past two days.

Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said shelling was in response to Israeli “crimes”.

This “was part of the natural right to defend our people and respond to Israeli crimes and assassinations of resistance fighters,” Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said in a statement.

Tension has been running high across the occupied Palestinian territories since the United States relocated its embassy earlier this month from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which was occupied by Israel in 1967 and represents the heart of the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Since late March, more than 115 Palestinians have been killed and thousands injured by Israeli gunfire during anti-occupation protests in the Gaza Strip.

The protesters demand their return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.

War on Gaza, a matter of time

There is a conviction to many Palestinians when asked about the possibility of a new war on the Gaza Strip that “It’s just a matter of time, no more, pending further escalation.

Salah Abd El-Ati, the director of the Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies, described a missile attack on Gaza last year (more than 60 Israeli raids) as a “foreshadowing of a real war that will bring more disasters because of what the Strip is suffering from exceptional circumstances caused by three wars in less than 5 years over 10 years.”

Abd El-Ati explained the size of the human and material losses that he expects in the case of the outbreak of a new war on Gaza, saying: “The poverty rate in the Gaza Strip is 65%, the unemployment rate is 47%, and there is a real tragedy related to the bad humanitarian conditions and the slow access of the construction materials to Gaza. Therefore, the Palestinian citizens fear that Israel might launch a new aggression, in exploitation of the regional conditions that the world is preoccupied with.”

While Abd El-Ati expects that the next war on Gaza will be “disastrous”, he believes that Israel is seeking to impose the equation of “calm for calm” or “calm for humanitarian facilities”, hoping to take advantage of that situation as an occupation authority. Salah Abd El-Ati also said: “The occupation authorities do what they want, and because Israel has not yet been held accountable, we see what it is doing in the West Bank of cold-blood executions, and the expansion of settlements, as well as the continuing Judaization of Jerusalem. Therefore, there is a real fear, and the citizens have every right to fear from any coming aggression, especially in the absence of a serious prospect of a Palestinian reconciliation that could at least lead to masterminding the decision of peace and war within the Palestinian community.”