Accusing Hamas of sending incendiary balloons towards Israel, the Hebrew state army shelled movement targets in Gaza City and Khan Younes. A situation that weakens the ceasefire underway since May 21.
For the second time since the end of the 11 days of fighting in May in Gaza, the Israeli air force bombed on the night of June 17 to 18 targets of the Hamas movement in this Palestinian territory.
The Israeli army claimed to have targeted a Hamas military site and a rocket launching site, located respectively in Gaza City and Khan Younes, a city in the south of this enclave under Israeli blockade for nearly 15 years. AFP journalists in the Gaza Strip reported blasts. IDF accuses the Palestinian movement of sending incendiary balloons towards Israel.
After the Israeli strikes, militants from Hamas’s armed wing al-Qassam brigade reportedly fired machine guns at Israeli villages around the Gaza Strip and at drones patrolling the skies, an official told AFP movement. Sirens sounded in a number of Israeli villages bordering the Gaza Strip, but the Israeli army said their triggering “was not related to rockets” but to fire from Gaza.
In response to incendiary balloons launched from Gaza into Israel, we struck military compounds and Hamas-owned rocket launching sites in Gaza.
The IDF will continue to hit Hamas terrorist targets in Gaza.
– IDF (@Tsahal_IDF) June 17, 2021
This is the second round of Israeli strikes in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the week and the end of the war that took place from May 10 to 21 with Hamas in power in the Gaza Strip, that territory. Palestinian of two million inhabitants. These clashes claimed the lives of 260 Palestinians, including children and adolescents, and 13 people in Israel, including a child and a soldier.
A fragile ceasefire
These new exchanges of fire come as the UN and Egypt try to consolidate the fragile ceasefire that brought an end to this lightning war, and the approach of the visit to the United States – scheduled from June 19 – from the head of the Israeli army, General Aviv Kohavi. The latter is due in particular to the headquarters of the Military Command for the Middle East located in Florida, and will return with his American interlocutors to the war which pitted the Hebrew state and Hamas against each other for 11 days.
In addition to rebuilding the densely populated enclave under Israeli blockade, IDF chief Aviv Kohavi must discuss with his American counterparts a possible prisoner exchange agreement and Iran, the enemy’s number one enemy. the Hebrew State and which maintains privileged relations with Hamas.
At the same time, Hamas said it was open to “indirect” negotiations regarding an exchange of prisoners, with Israel wishing to repatriate the bodies of two soldiers killed in 2014 and two civilians who entered Gaza of their own accord and have been detained since. The return of the remains of the two soldiers is a “prerequisite for any significant development” concerning Gaza, an Israeli army official told AFP on June 17.
According to the same source, Aviv Kohavi will discuss “Iranian violations” of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, from which the Trump administration withdrew in 2018 but which new US President Joe Biden wants to put back on. rails. “We must quickly prepare for a return to the agreement on Iranian nuclear power”, moreover supported this week the new head of Israeli diplomacy Yair Lapid, specifying that his country “will do everything in its power to prevent the ‘Iran to get the nuclear bomb’.
Yaïr Lapid met on June 17 with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. He reaffirmed US support for “the security of Israel,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement that made no reference to the day’s events. The two men also spoke of the importance of the bilateral relationship between their countries, “the need to improve Israeli-Palestinian relations from a practical point of view”, as well as the Iranian file, he said. A page in Israel’s history turned on June 13 with the formation of a new government ending 12 years of uninterrupted rule of Benjamin Netanyahu, the most enduring prime minister in the history of the Hebrew state .