The Israeli military has conducted overnight air strikes on the Gaza Strip’s northern areas, claiming it was targeting Hamas positions. The development comes after the Israeli army shot dead 62 Palestinians protesting near the fence with Israel to call for their right of return.
Palestinians were marking 70 years since the Nakba, or Catastrophe, the day on which the state of Israel was established on May 15, 1948 in a violent ethnic cleansing campaign.
Throughout the past seven weeks, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been protesting as part of a weeks-long movement calling for the right of return for Palestinian refugees to the homes and villages they were forcibly expelled from by Zionist militias in 1948.
Since the protests began on March 30, Israeli forces have killed at least 111 Palestinians in the coastal enclave and wounded about 12,000 people.
The Israeli military has said that it launched overnight air strikes on Hamas “infrastructure in a military compounds” and “weapons production” facilities in the north of the besieged enclave.
The army alleged the “strikes were conducted in response to the heavy machine gun fire that targeted the city of Sderot” in the south.
While Hamas has not officially responded to the attacks, a security official from the movement told Anadolu Angency that several of its positions had been targeted.
The ministry of health in the Gaza Strip said no one had been injured in the attacks.
Palestinians withdraw envoy to US
The Palestinian envoy to Washington has been recalled to Ramallah in protest over the US relocating its embassy to Jerusalem.
Husam Zomlot was instructed to return by President Mahmoud Abbas, the foreign ministry announced in a statement.
It did not say how long Zomlot would be withdrawn for.
Riad Malki, foreign minister, said “When they [the US] opened their embassy in Jerusalem there was a need for a decision from our side and this was our decision.”
Clashes and arrests near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate
Israeli border police forces and Palestinian protesters clashed near Jerusalem’s Damascus Gate.
Many protesters were removed from the plaza, and others were arrested in the nearby area.
Demonstrators had gathered at the square outside the gate as part of Nakba Day protests.
“The Palestinians have been living here, I was born here, my father, my grandfather, my great great grandfather, I have no other place to go, I don’t even have a passport to go anywhere else,” said Mujid Keluti, a Jerusalem resident.
[Source: Al Jazeera]