Israel yesterday continued its aerial bombardment of the Gaza strip, breaking a fragile ceasefire for the second time since its 11-day assault last month. Israel carried out the first series of air raids on Wednesday, targeting what it said were Hamas facilities in Khan Younis. Palestinian sources said that the strikes caused property damage, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Palestinian sources on the ground said Israeli missiles hit several sites belonging to armed groups in the northwest of Gaza City and north of Beit Lahia. The missiles also targeted a civil administration building located to the east of the northern city Jabaliya, as well as an agricultural field east of the southern town of Khan Younis.
Israeli media reported that the army attacked Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the launching of balloons by activists in the area. The balloons, which were launched early Thursday, are reportedly rudimentary devices intended to set fire to farmland around Gaza. The balloons ignited eight fires near the fence between Gaza and Israel, all of which were subsequently put out with no casualties reported.
According to Al Jazeera, the army said it will "continue to destroy Hamas' military capabilities and structures and hold it responsible for what is happening in the Gaza strip."
Gaza had barely begun to recover from the 11-day war last month, where at least 257 Palestinians, including 66 children, were killed by Israel. The ceasefire came into effect on 21 May.