(Photo credit: Ashraf Amra/AP)
Israeli jets launched several airstrikes against the Gaza Strip early on 4 November, allegedly targeting the positions of a Palestinian resistance group.
VIDEO: Smartphone footage shows the moment 18 Israeli missiles hit Gaza Strip pic.twitter.com/AQMxkYvqbi
— The Cradle (@TheCradleMedia) November 4, 2022
Tel Aviv says the attack came in retaliation to rockets launched from the besieged enclave towards adjacent Israeli settlements on Thursday night.
“The strike was carried out in response to launches from Gazan territory to Israeli territory earlier this evening,” the Israeli army said in a statement.
There were no immediate reports of casualties.
The impoverished Gaza Strip is home to 2.3 million Palestinians, and has been under a criminal Israeli blockade since 2007, when Hamas took control of the enclave, away from the Ramallah-based Fatah.
Friday’s airstrikes on what many consider to be the world’s largest open-air prison are the first since August, when Tel Aviv launched a three-day bombing campaign that left 48 Palestinians dead, including 17 children.
The violence flared just a few hours after outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid conceded defeat to far-right leader Benjamin Netanyahu following Tuesday’s elections.
“I wish Netanyahu success for the sake of the people of Israel and the State of Israel … [I have] instructed all branches of the Prime Minister’s Office to prepare an orderly transfer of power,” Lapid tweeted late on 3 November.
שוחחתי הערב עם יו״ר האופוזיציה, בנימין נתניהו, ובירכתי אותו על נצחונו בבחירות. מדינת ישראל היא מעל לכל שיקול פוליטי ואני מאחל לנתניהו בהצלחה למען עם ישראל ומדינת ישראל. עדכנתי את יו"ר האופוזיציה שהנחיתי את כל זרועות משרד רה״מ להכין העברת שלטון מסודרת.
— יאיר לפיד – Yair Lapid (@yairlapid) November 3, 2022
The August airstrikes on Gaza were reportedly an attempt by Lapid to show off his “strength” ahead of this week’s elections. At the time, the self-proclaimed “centrist” said he had no intention of apologizing for the murder of innocent women and children.
Control of Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories now falls to a far-right coalition led by racist and Jewish supremacist figures like Itamar Ben Gvir, who Netanyahu has said is likely to be named interior minister.
“The time has come to impose order here. The time has come for there to be a landlord,” Ben Gvir tweeted on Thursday.
Nonetheless, his ascension to power comes alongside reports that senior US officials are “unwilling” to cooperate with the extremist settler who once belonged to Kach — a Jewish militant group listed on Israeli and US terrorist watchlists.