Published: Wed, June 16, 2021
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Israel Strikes Gaza In Response To Incendiary Balloons

Israel Strikes Gaza In Response To Incendiary Balloons

Citing the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, the report said that Hamas conveyed a warning to Israel through Egyptian and United Nations mediators that if the event was not canceled, the Palestinian "resistance" would take actions similar to those it took in May, during "Operation Guardian of the Walls", when more than 4,000 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israeli population centers.

"The situation in the Palestinian sphere is volatile and we are prepared for a renewed outbreak of fighting", IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi said late Monday.

The so-called March of the Flags celebrates the anniversary of the city's "reunification" after Israel captured east Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967 and annexed it, a move not recognized by most of the worldwide community.

Throngs of mostly young religious men sang, danced and waved flags at the Damascus Gate entrance to the Old City that was cleared of its usual Palestinian crowds.

Hamas called on Palestinians to "resist" the parade, a version of which helped ignite last month's 11-day Gaza war. Israeli police in riot gear blocked surrounding streets, forcibly removing Palestinian protesters from the route.

Police said 17 people were arrested for disturbing the peace including throwing stones and assaulting police, with two officers needing medical attention.

"I feel very bad", he said.

In the past, Bennett had pushed former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to take a tougher stance against Hamas and the launching of incendiary balloons according to Israeli media.

Some demonstrators on Tuesday carried signs reading "Bennett the liar".

Yair Lapid, the architect of the new government, tweeted he believed the march had to be allowed but that "it's inconceivable how you can hold an Israeli flag and shout, "Death to Arabs" at the same time". Palestinian protests were planned for 6 p.m. (1500 GMT) across the Gaza Strip, and Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction have called on Palestinians to flock to the Old City to counter the march.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL - JUNE 15: Police officers clash with Palestinian as they force Palestinians out of Damascus Gate area before the far right flag march on June 15, 2021 in Jerusalem, Israel.

"The fire was in response to the provocative flag march in East Jerusalem on Tuesday", a Palestinian activist who identified himself as Abu Houzayfa told Anadolu Agency.

Those clashes spread to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a flashpoint site sacred to Jews and Muslims.

Explosions light-up the night sky above buildings in Gaza City.

Israeli media reported the military was on heightened alert in the occupied West Bank and along the Gaza frontier. Tuesday's conflict was sparked by a march in East Jerusalem.

According to Palestinian sources, Israel's air force targeted at least one site east of Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip, which is home to some two million people.

In the name of defending the holy city, Hamas fired long-range rockets at Jerusalem, disrupting the march and sparking the Gaza war, which claimed more than 250 Palestinian lives and killed 13 people in Israel.

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