Israeli fighter jets have carried out fresh airstrikes against various targets in the Gaza Strip, including seaports, hours after the regime’s tanks shelled the southern parts of the blockaded enclave.
Gaza residents said a vessel, which was due to sail to meet a flotilla of boats hoping to reach the coastal enclave, caught fire after being hit by an Israeli air raid early on Wednesday
Meanwhile, the Israeli military said its warplanes had hit underground infrastructure used by the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement in northern Gaza and two targets belonging to its naval forces.
It also noted that the strikes came in response to an alleged arson attack on an empty Israeli military outpost by a group of Palestinians who had entered the occupied territories from Gaza on Tuesday morning.
Later in the day, an Israeli army tank fired on a Hamas observation post in the southern Gaza Strip.
Tensions have been running high along the Gaza fence since March 30, which marked the start of a series of protests, dubbed “The Great March of Return,” demanding the right to return for those driven out of their homeland.
The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
At least 65 Palestinians were killed and more than 2,700 others wounded as the Israeli forces used snipers, airstrikes, tank fire and tear gas to target the Gaza demonstrators on May 14.
The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) convened on Friday, denouncing “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force” by Israeli forces against the Palestinian people.
On Tuesday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) “to open an immediate investigation” into Israeli rights abuses.
Israel conducts regular air raids on Palestinians in Gaza under the pretext of hitting Hamas targets. The Gaza Strip has also been under an inhumane Israeli siege since 2007.
Tel Aviv has waged three wars on the blockaded coastal sliver since 2008, including the 2014 offensive, which left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead.