Israel mounts savage air bombardment on Gaza
16 March 2019
Israel Defense Forces launched a massive aerial attack on 100 sites in Gaza in the early hours of Friday morning, injuring at least four people in the southern city of Rafah. Hours later, strikes were still pummeling the town of Khan Younis.
According to Palestinian witnesses, IDF planes bombed security facilities belonging to Hamas, the bourgeois Islamist group that has controlled the Gaza Strip since winning the Palestinian legislative elections in 2006, as well as 30 sites held by Islamic Jihad, causing significant damage.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the strikes in retaliation for two rockets that set off air raid sirens across Tel Aviv, Israel’s most populous city. Israel’s Iron Dome defence system intercepted one of the missiles, while another landed in open space, causing no damage or injuries.
Hamas denied any responsibility for the rockets launched against Tel Aviv. It pointed out that the attack took place at the very time when its negotiators were meeting with Egyptian mediators, supported by the United Nations and Qatar, to try to reach an accommodation with Israel to ameliorate the terrible conditions in Gaza due to the crippling 12-year-long blockade by Israel, imposed with the active support of Egypt and President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah-led Palestinian Authority.
Such is the determination for negotiations to succeed that Palestinians stopped the night-time protests that were part of the Great March of Return movement, as well as Friday protests at one of the five gathering points demonstrators have used since 30 March 2018.
Hamas reportedly made these concessions in response to Israeli demands, transmitted by Egypt, calling for the “stopping the coarse tools” used…