Israel Violates Ceasefire Agreements Multiple Times
The Israeli military launched air raids on Gaza following clashes between its soldiers and Palestinian protesters. Hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated on August 21 to draw attention to the Israeli blockade of the territory and to commemorate the burning of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque 52 years ago.
The protest grew violent “after dozens of people approached the fortified fence and threw rocks and explosives towards Israeli soldiers from behind a black smoke screen spewing from burning tyres”, alleged the Israeli military.
The military “responded with riot dispersal means, including when necessary, live fire”, as Al Jazeera picks up.
This escalation in violence was met with open Israeli gunfire that wounded 41 Palestinians, including a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the head and is now in critical condition, according to the Gaza health ministry. From the other side, an Israeli policeman was wounded by Palestinian gunfire. In retaliation, the Israeli military struck four weapons manufacturing and storage sites in Gaza belonging to Hamas.
These Israeli strikes constitute the 8th violation of the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel since May. Core Middle East has received information of multiple Israeli’s violations of the truce, although they have gone largely unreported and only counted via social media. Al Jazeera’s contributor Adnan Abu Amer adds: “Forced expulsions and house demolitions of Palestinian homes in occupied Jerusalem have continued, and so have Israeli settler break-ins under Israeli security protection into the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound.”
Saturday’s violence has been some of the worst since the 11-day siege by Israel on the Gaza Strip in May. Back then, Hamas and other groups said they acted after Israeli forces violently stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque several times. It is reported that at least 260 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed and there was $479m worth of direct damage, undersecretary of the ministry of public works and housing in Gaza, Naji Sarhan said.
Israel’s ongoing blockade
The new Israeli government, headed by Naftali Bennett, has blocked aid from Qatar to prevent Hamas from getting cash. It has also blocked the import of key reconstruction materials while demanding that Hamas first return the remains of two soldiers killed in a 2014 war and two Israeli civilians believed to be alive, Al Jazeera reports. The Israeli-Egyptian blockade also tightly restricts movement out of Gaza, which is home to 2 million Palestinians.
On Thursday, Israel announced a new agreement with Qatar to resume aid payments to families in the Gaza Strip. The funds should be transferred in the coming weeks by the UN directly to Gaza families while giving Israel oversight over the recipients. This move has been seen as bolstering a fragile Egyptian-mediated truce to the May fighting, Reuters adds. We have still to see if this is true.