Israel has intensified airstrikes over the Gaza Strip as tensions rise

  • Israeli has intensified its airstrikes on alleged militant targets in the Gaza Strip, upping the ante on the already tense security situation along its border.
  • Israel has launched several major airstrikes on the Gaza Strip in retaliation for what it says are terror efforts by the militant group Hamas.
  • Tensions along the Gaza Strip may be at their most critical level since Israel entered into a ground war in the coastal enclave in 2014.

Israeli has intensified its airstrikes on alleged militant targets in the Gaza Strip, upping the ante on the already tense security situation along its border.

On Wednesday evening, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said its fighter jets struck an alleged Hamas military compound in Northern Gaza. Hamas rules the Gaza Strip and is considered a terror organisation by Israel, the US and the EU.

Israel said its strikes were in response to an explosive device that reportedly detonated near an an army vehicle recently along the Gaza border. The IDF said the explosive devices were set up as mass, week-long protests recently erupted along the Gaza border, killing dozens of Palestinians.

On Monday, the Israeli Air Force struck a target it said was linked to Hamas. The IDF claimed Monday’s attack was in response to Palestinians allegedly attempting to infiltrate Israel’s border fence.

Tensions have been rising on the Gaza-Israel border

This week’s airstrikes follow increased actions by the Israeli army as tensions along the Gaza-Israel border continue to rise.

On April 4, the Israeli army targeted and killed a Palestinian it claimed was an “armed terrorist” adjacent to the border fence. The army claimed the man was carrying explosives and a firearm.

On March 30, the Israeli army targeted three Palestinians along the Gaza-Israel border, that it said were trying to infiltrate Israel, with tank fire.

On March 18, the Israeli air force conducted a number of airstrikes reportedly against Hamas which it said was in response to an IED explosion along the border. A few days prior, Israeli tanks attacked Hamas positions in Gaza and Palestinian media reported Palestinians were killed in moves by the Israeli army.

In February, 18 Palestinian militant were targeted with airstrikes after four of Israeli soldiers were injured in an explosion along the border.

Tensions may be at their worst since 2014

Gaza Rubble Children October 2014Mahmud Hams/AFP/Getty ImagesPalestinian children stand in the rubble of destroyed homes and buildings from the 50-day conflict between Hamas militants and Israel, east of Gaza City on Oct. 12, 2014.

Tensions along the Gaza Strip may be at their most critical level since Israel entered into a ground war in the coastal enclave in 2014.

The military operation, called “Operation Protective Edge” and initiated by Israel after the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers by Hamas, injured thousands in the bloody months-long conflict.

Conflict began to escalate again in December following news of President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The move ignited a decades-long dispute over ownership of the territory, which both Israel and Palestine have made religious, social and political claims to.

In January, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas railed against Trump for his decision, and promised to “slap back” against the decision.

Israeli Prime Minister defended the intensified airstrikes in Gaza on Tuesday, saying that Israel has a “clear rule” of “striking those who strike you.”

The IDF recently stated that it “holds Hamas responsible for everything that takes place in the [Gaza] Strip.”

Many experts predict that violence between the warring sides will continue to escalate until they reach fever pitch.

“The recent weeks of rockets and Israeli bombardment proved an explosion is possible,” Gaza political analyst Akram Attalla told Reuters in January.

“How long will Hamas continue to take Israeli strikes to its positions without a response? And how long will Israel’s Netanyahu tolerate internal criticism? There is no guarantee.”

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