The threat of a new Gaza war continues to rise as Palestinians demand an end to the devastating 13-year-long blockade and Israel tightens the screws on Gaza’s economy while targeting Hamas pushes positions.
Israeli warplanes and tanks bombed Hamas pushes military sites early on Tuesday in response to the incendiary balloons launched from Gaza towards Israel’s south, according to an Israeli army statement.
It was the 15th day in a row that Israel launched attacks against Hamas’s infrastructure and agricultural land in the Gaza Strip. Gaza’s military factions did not respond on Tuesday, although they previously launched rockets towards Israel after attacks last week.
No serious injuries were reported on either side.
The current escalation between Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip and Israel was caused by the launching of incendiary balloons by Palestinians into southern Israel in the past two weeks as a way to pressure Israel to lift its crippling blockade imposed in 2007. The rigged balloons and kites often start blazes on farms in Israel.
According to local Palestinian media reports, Israel has failed to extend Gaza’s allowed fishing zone to 20 nautical miles, allow the construction of a new power line into the Gaza Strip, permit Gaza’s power plant to operate on natural gas, and facilitate the movement of goods, including the entry of 1,200 trucks a day, through the Karem Abu Salem (known as Kerem Shalom to Israelis) crossing.
In response to the launching of incendiary balloons, Israel has taken punitive measures against Gaza by restricting goods coming through the crossing, fully closing the sea to Gaza’s fishermen, and halting fuel supplies, causing the territory’s sole power plant to shut down with electricity reduced to four hours a day.
“The current escalation is a confrontation between the Palestinian factions who are fighting to lift the blockade on Gaza, and Israel who is fighting twice as hard to keep the blockade in place,” political analyst Husam al-Dajani told Al Jazeera.
“Whenever the Palestinians protest and demand that the blockade be lifted or even alleviated, Israel responds by further tightening the blockade and further exacerbating the crises in Gaza,” he added.
“By doing this, Israel is adding more fuel to the fire and directing the situation towards further escalation and instability. You solve a problem by addressing its cause, not by exacerbating the cause.” Read here