Smoke rises following an air raid on Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip. 13 September, 2021 (Photo credit: Said Khatib/AFP)
Late on 12 September, Israeli warplanes and armed drones bombed the occupied Gaza Strip, reportedly targeting Palestinian resistance bases.
This latest bombing campaign on the world’s largest open-air prison came in response to alleged rocket attacks coming from Gaza towards illegal Israeli settlements, as well as the use of incendiary balloons by Palestinian resistance fighters as part of ongoing “night confusion” protests.
No casualties were reported on either side.
Israeli warplanes and drones have also started conducting extensive overflights of the occupied territories, in an apparent attempt to strike fear into the residents of Gaza.
Sunday’s airstrikes took place just hours before Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett headed to Egypt for an official visit which was expected to focus on efforts to broker a long-term truce between Tel Aviv and Palestinian resistance movement Hamas.
It also came just one day after four out of the six Palestinians who escaped Gilboa prison were captured. Since the daring escape seven days ago, occupation authorities have gone to extreme lengths to capture the escapees and to repress mobilization in their support.
Speaking to Al-Jazeera, a Hamas representative said that “the Israeli occupation is trying to weaken the Palestinian morale and instill fear of a possible escalation by bombing Gaza.”
Hamas, along with other resistance movements like Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), have held occupation authorities responsible for the safety and well-being of the four captured escapees, declaring that any future prisoner exchange will be fully dependent on their release.