On 19 August, Israeli military jets conducted their ninth straight night of air strikes in the Gaza Strip. Israeli leaders claimed this massive bombing was a reaction to “incendiary balloons” and riots on the ground.
According to reporting from the Mint Press, “Most recent cases of incendiary balloons were not the work of Hamas, but of independent activist groups in the Strip… The incendiary balloons have caused some fires on Israeli farmland and forests, but have never killed or injured anyone.”
Yet, on 11 August, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to the presence of the incendiary balloons on Israeli territory: “There will be a very heavy price for the balloon terror. We will not suffer this. We will act and exact a heavy price.”
As for the riots cited by Israel, the Associated Press reported “dozens” of Palestinian protesters have gathered nightly at the border fence with Israel. There was no mention of any violent actions by the protesters.
The Gaza Strip, a small area on the border between Israel and Egypt, is crammed with almost two million Palestinians, making it the third most densely populated territory in the world. It has been the site of constant warfare between the Israelis and Hamas, the Palestinian organization which has been the ruling government in the territory since 2007. Israel, along with the United States and the European Union, consider Hamas a terrorist organization.
Others, including China, Russia, Japan, and Turkey, see Hamas as the democratically elected political party in Gaza.
According to the International Middle East Media Center,
“Medical sources said Israeli missiles struck farmlands, and a few homes, in Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza, causing excessive damage, and wounding two women, including one who is pregnant.
They added that a child, only three years of age, suffered wounds to her head and face, when the soldiers fired missiles into farmlands, east of the al-Boreij refugee camp, in central Gaza.
Another child, eleven years of age, was also injured when the soldiers fired more missiles into al-Boreij.
Families who had to leave their homes during the bombing said they were just trying to save themselves, to save their children, after the Israeli missiles struck their homes, and areas near them, and had to run not even knowing where to, as more missiles and shells continued to be fired by the army.”
Mint News also reported, “Israel has closed all crossings into and out of Gaza, blocking the delivery of needed food and fuel to run Gaza’s only power plant.”
Following Hamas’ taking control of the territory in 2007, Israel and Egypt, citing concerns Hamas would allow for increased Iranian influence, closed all border crossings with Gaza, establishing a blockade. According to the World Bank, the blockade has caused a 50 percent drop in GDP, and Gaza’s exports have been virtually shut down.
In 2019, more than a million people in Gaza risked major food shortages due to the Trump administration cutting $60 million refugee aid to the territory, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.
In fiscal year 2019, the U.S. gave Israel $3.8 billion in foreign military aid along with $8 billion in loan guarantees.
TRENDPOST: While America and the world are gripped in fighting the COVID War, barely a word from the media and not a mention by world leaders of the socioeconomic devastation of Palestinian territories by Israel.
And, according to AntiWar.com, all imports going into Gaza except for food and medical supplies have also been banned by Israel.