THE Israeli military has carried out airstrikes and artillery attacks on various sites across the besieged Gaza Strip over what it cited as a volley of rockets launched from the Palestinian enclave into occupied territories.
The military said in a statement that underground infrastructure and military positions belonging to the Hamas resistance movement were targeted in strikes by Israeli tanks and military aircraft on Friday morning, after resistance fighters in the besieged enclave fired six rockets at southern Israel overnight.
The statement added that the projectiles triggered sirens in the Nahal Oz and Alumim settlements, east of the northern Gaza Strip, sending hundreds of residents settlers to bomb shelters.
The Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad says it is fully prepared to respond to any act of aggression by the Israeli military.
An unnamed Israeli military spokesman said he did not have any information on where the Gaza rockets landed, but that none of them were intercepted by Iron Dome missile system.
The rockets came shortly after the Israeli military initially bombed Hamas facilities in Gaza over the alleged launch of incendiary and explosive balloons into occupied lands throughout Thursday.
There have been no immediate reports on possible damage or casualties in the attacks.
Israel has been pounding the Gaza Strip almost nightly for the past two weeks, saying it would not tolerate the balloons coming from the enclave.
Mediators from the United Nations, Egypt and Qatar have been working to restore calm. Qatari envoy Mohammad al-Emadi has been in Gaza since Tuesday, holding talks with Hamas leaders.
Israel on August 11 closed Kerem Shalom crossing – the main crossing into the Gaza Strip, citing the launch of incendiary balloons from the besieged enclave as the cause.
Israeli authorities slashed Gaza’s permitted fishing zone the next day, halving the area from 15 nautical miles to eight.
The Tel Aviv regime also halted fuel imports into the coastal strip, leading to its only power plant shutting down last week.
Palestinian health officials have voiced serious concern that the power plant shutdown could aggravate a novel coronavirus outbreak in Gaza Strip, which is home to two million Palestinians.
The Gaza Strip has been under Israeli land, air and sea blockade since June 2007, after Hamas, which has vowed to resist Israeli occupation, rose to power in the enclave.
Since imposing the siege, Israel has has also waged three wholesale wars against Gaza, killing thousands of Palestinians in each.
The crippling blockade has caused a sharp decline in the standard of living as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty in the strip.
The Palestinian resistance movement Islamic Jihad has warned Israel against further escalation of its attacks against the besieged Gaza Strip, saying it stands fully prepared to respond to any act of aggression by the regime’s military.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Gaza-based resistance group reiterated its commitment to efforts towards breaking the unjust siege of Gaza, which has been the target of relentless aggression and acts of terror by the Tel Aviv regime.
The Palestinian group emphasised that it would not give up its efforts to develop its military capabilities despite all the restrictions and siege.
‘We will not lay down our arms and are fully ready to respond to any aggression,’ the statement said.
The armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement has unveiled its latest domestic missile by firing it at targets in the Israeli-occupied territories.
The continued delay in implementing the conditions related to agreements for a cease fire and ending and the siege would lead to an ‘explosion’ for which the occupation would bear full responsibility, the statement said.
Since early August, the Israeli war machine has been pounding Gaza either by its warplanes or through artillery fire, claiming that the attacks were mainly in response to incendiary balloons sent from Gaza to cause bush fires in the southern parts of the occupied territories.
In parallel, the regime has also tightened the siege of Gaza by shutting down Kerem Shalom, the crossing bringing in the majority of the enclave’s requirements, and barring fishing along Gaza’s coast.
The Palestinian Hamas resistance movement says Israel must pay the price for its continued attacks against the besieged Gaza Strip.
The coastal sliver, home to some two million people, has been under an Israeli-imposed crippling siege since June 2007, which has caused a decline in the living standards as well as unprecedented levels of unemployment and unrelenting poverty there.
Israel has also launched three major wars against the enclave since 2008, killing and wounding thousands of Gazans each time and shattering the impoverished territory’s already poor infrastructure.
- Iran has urged the international community to pressure the Israeli regime into joining the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
Deputy Representative of the Islamic Republic to the United Nations Es’haq Al-e Habib says the international community must force Tel Aviv to join the NPT and allow the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to access its nuclear facilities considering the Israeli regime’s destructive role in the region.
Addressing a virtual meeting on the anniversary of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) on Thursday, Al-e Habib stressed that the destructive role of the United States and Israel has prevented the realisation of a Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Free Zone in the Middle East.
He slammed the US’ negative role in preventing the proliferation of nuclear weapons and said with 1,054 nuclear tests, Washington has had the highest number of such tests in comparison to other countries.
He referred to the US as the possessor of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal and the only country to have used nuclear weapons, and said Washington not only has no intention to end testing nuclear weapons and join the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) but also continues to modernise and strengthen its nuclear arsenal.
Nuclear disarmament must remain at the top of the international community’s agenda, he said, adding that the nuclear tests must be stopped since they are against the soul of CTBT and commitment to nuclear disarmament as per the Article VI of the NPT.
Israel, which pursues a policy of deliberate ambiguity about its nuclear weapons, is estimated to have 200 to 400 nuclear warheads in its arsenal.
The regime has refused to allow inspections of its military nuclear facilities or sign the NPT.
Under Article VI of the NPT, all parties to the treaty undertake to pursue good-faith negotiations on effective measures related to nuclear disarmament and the cessation of nuclear arms race.
- India has stopped purchasing crude oil from China-linked companies, as part of New Delhi’s recent move to restrict imports from neighbouring countries in the wake of an escalating border dispute.
New Delhi has passed a new law that restricts state refiners from dealings with companies from countries sharing a border with India.
Last week, Indian state refiners decided to stop sending crude import tenders to Chinese trading firms like CNOOC, Unipec and PetroChina among others, the report said.
To participate in Indian tenders, the order makes registration with a department in the federal commerce ministry ‘mandatory’ for any bidders from nations sharing a border with India.
The country shares borders with Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Nepal and Bhutan. The new order, however, did not name any specific country.
India is the world’s third biggest oil consumer which imports nearly 84% of its oil needs.
China does not export crude to India but Chinese firms are among major oil traders globally.
Indian state refiners, which control 60% of the country’s 5 million barrel-per-day refining capacity, regularly tap spot markets for crude.
New Delhi put the new restriction in place in July, after border tensions erupted between India and China in the wake of clashes that led to the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers in the Galwan Valley, a precipitous and rocky border area that lies between China’s Tibet and India’s Ladakh regions.
That was the first such deadly clash at the disputed border in the western Himalayas since 1967.
India accused Beijing of having ‘pre-meditated and planned’ the fighting, but China said Indian troops had violated a military agreement, and attacked its troops.
The governments of the two nuclear armed powers are now seeking to reach an agreement on ways to pull back troops from across the disputed border.