Israel escalates tensions on Gaza border

This week, Palestinians marked the three year anniversary of Operation Cast Lead and mourned the deaths of their loved ones. The Israeli army called Cast Lead an “excellent” operation and escalated tensions along the Gaza border with a series of provocative attacks.

December 29 saw Israeli forces bomb Gaza. According to Maan News Agency, no injuries were reported. On December 28, an Israeli tank fired on Gaza and Israeli military officials declared that they were “preparing… and ready” for another offensive against Gaza.

On Tuesday, December 27, an Israeli airstrike killed Abdullah Talbani, a Palestinan resident of the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinians were injured in the attack. Eight Palestinians were injured in additional attacks on Gaza City on Tuesday; two of which were critically injured. A 13-year-old boy was among the injured. The injured were transferred to Shifa Hospital. The Al Aqsa Brigade, the military wing of Fatah, announced that they fired two missiles to Israel in response to the killing of Talbani.

An Israeli army spokesperson announced that the strike was a collaboration between the Israeli army and General Security Services (Shin Bet or Shabak) and that the air force strike hit sites thought to be linked to “global jihad.” The army spokesperson claimed that two of the men injured in the attack, Rami Daoud Jabar Khafarna from Jabalia and Hazam Mahmad Sa’adi Al Shakr from Beit Hanoun, had both been members of Hamas’ military wing.

Additionally, the military arm of the Gaza Strip’s Popular Resistance Committees said in reports published on Tuesday morning that Israeli forces crossed the border into central Gaza and clashed with [Palestinian] fighters.

In a talk given during the opening of the Army Radio show “Sheerootroom,” commander in chief of Israeli forces, Benny Gantz, remarked, “Sooner or later, there will be no escape from conducting another significant [military] operation in the Gaza Strip.”

He claimed that the Israeli military attack on the Gaza Strip “Cast Lead– that killed 1400 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and left 5000 injured, was effective deterrence–but that because the Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip were continuing to arm themselves it’s possible that Israel will carry out a “planned, initiated, and swift” operation.

Hamas marked the three year anniversary of the attack by saying that the Israeli blockade failed and did not succeed in acheiving its goal. A Hamas spokesperson remarked that instead of wiping Gaza from the map, Gaza has become a Qibla, the direction Muslims pray towards, for the free people of the world.

This article was published by the Alternative Information Center (AIC)

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