Israel unleashed its biggest air strikes on the Gaza Strip since a 2014 war Saturday, killing two Palestinians, while dozens of rockets targeted Israel, but Hamas said a ceasefire had been reached late in the day. Thick plumes of smoke rose over parts of the Gaza Strip as Israel hit dozens of targets it said belonged to militants, including a high-rise building allegedly used by Hamas as a training facility with a tunnel underneath.
Israel has been trying to annex the West Bank ever since occupying it through various means. It has been propping up 230 settlements, which now house more than half a million Israelis, demolishing Palestinian structures under different excuses, and refusing construction permits to Palestinians.
Avigdor Lieberman told Israel’s public radio on Sunday, claiming that all the Gazans are affiliated with the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. “Everyone’s connected to Hamas, everyone gets a salary from Hamas, and all the activists trying to challenge us and breach the [Gaza] border are Hamas military wing activists,” he added.
Ahmed Oudeh, 19, 33-year-old Jihad Farina and Mahmoud Sa’di Rahmi were all killed east of Gaza City as well. A 22-year-old Palestinian man, identified as Ibrahim Abu Sha’ar, was also shot dead east of Rafah. Since 1948, the Israeli regime has denied Palestinian refugees the right to return, despite United Nations resolutions and international law that upholds people’s right to return to their homelands.
The PA says the only answer to more than 70-year-old conflict is the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. But since the signing of the Oslo Accords, the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories has only intensified, making it difficult for Palestinians to envision such a solution.
Though Israel claims Jerusalem as its undivided capital, the realities for those who live there cannot be more different. Israel’s settlement project in East Jerusalem, which is aimed at the consolidation of Israel’s control over the city, is also considered illegal under international law.