Reports are coming out that Hamas has broken it’s ceasefire agreement with Israel, launching incendiary balloons at Israel from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, Israel swiftly responded with airstrikes early on Wednesday.
Hamas’ incendiary balloons started multiple fires in Israel’s territory according to Israeli fire services.
The Israeli Defense Forces said in a statement that their fighter jets had struck Hamas military compounds in Gaza City and Khan Yunis, places where the IDF identified “terrorist activity” which they outlined in the statement.
The IDF added that they are fully “prepared for all scenarios” to include a full scale resumption of the warfare should continued terrorist actions come out of Gaza.
The exchange is the first flare-up following 11 days of fighting that ended on May 21 with a ceasefire.
The conflict began after violent Palestinian protesters attacked Israeli police, upset about a Supreme Court decision which was likely to uphold private-property rights by allowing landowners to evict squatters who refused to pay rent after agreeing to acknowledge Jewish land claims over their homes. The protestors violently clashed with police, who responded by using crowd-control measures that caused injuries to hundreds.
Hamas followed up the protest by launching thousands of rockets into Israel. While most of the missiles were blocked by the Iron Dome interceptor system, the rockets killed many inside Israel, including children.
Israel responded with rocket and airstrikes of their own. Gaza reported 230 Palestinians killed as IDF forces wiped out several Hamas commanders and terrorist operational bases.
The IDF pointed out, however, that many of Hamas’ own missiles misfired and are responsible for many of the deaths on the Palestinian side of the conflict.
Before Israel sends a precision airstrike, it warns occupants of the targeted structure, giving them instructions and sufficient time to flee before destroying buildings used as bases or storehouses for Hamas intelligence or weapons. Hamas gives no warning when they launch their missiles, and deliberately target civilians.
Hamas violates international law, which requires combatants to adhere to a rule known as “distinction.” Distinction means that military and civilian personnel and elements need to be kept separated and clearly marked, so that both sides have a reasonable ability to distinguish between military targets and non-combatants. But Hamas intentionally houses their military bases deep inside of urban centers, making attacking them surgically extremely difficult.
It’s still too early to tell if the recent arson attempts and Israeli airstrikes will renew the conflict entirely.
Author: Wanda Owens