Airstrikes hit Gaza and seven Palestinians killed in one week

Early on Sunday, March 24, Israeli airstrikes hit the al-Awda refugee camp, located east of Rafah in the Gaza Strip, reported the Anadolu Agency.

The Israeli military said in a statement that the airstrikes were a response to flaming kites and balloons flown by Palestinians on the Israel-Gaza border during Friday’s weekly Great March of Return demonstration, which began nearly a year ago in protest to dire conditions in the beleaguered Palestinian territory.

No casualties due to the airstrikes have been reported.

The incendiary devices have previously damaged Israeli property, but have not harmed any individuals.

During the Friday protest, two Palestinians – Nibald Abdel Karim Shatat, 29, and Jihad Munir Harara, 24 – were killed by Israeli forces, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza.

Another Palestinian man, 24-year-old Habib al-Masri, was shot by Israeli soldiers, dying from his wounds the next day.

At least 62 were injured during Friday’s protest, including Anadolu Agency photojournalist Ali Jadallah, who has since received medical attention in a nearby hospital.

An Israeli spokeswoman said the soldiers fired in accordance with standard operating procedures.

The injuries and deaths occurred only days after a United Nations Human Rights Council commission of inquiry released a detailed report on the Israeli military’s use of lethal force in Gaza, which said that military personnel could be guilty of crimes against humanity and war crimes for actions taken in the blockaded coastal enclave.

Israeli military kills four in West Bank in less than 48 hours

Earlier in the week, on March 21, a Palestinian man was killed by an Israeli soldier near Bethlehem.

Ahmad Jamal Manasrah, 26, was shot and killed after an Israeli soldier identified rocks being thrown at Israeli vehicles, the Israeli military said in a statement.

Just before the shooting, Manasrah had been helping another Palestinian injured by the Israeli military.

Details regarding the incident are being reviewed and the incident will be examined, the statement continued.

On March 19, two Palestinians, Raid Hamdan, 21, and Zaid Nouri, 20, were killed by Israeli soldiers near the West Bank city of Nablus.

Israeli authorities said the two had thrown explosives at Jewish settlers visiting a monument for the prophet Joseph.

That same day, the suspected Palestinian killer of Israeli soldier Gal Keidan, who Israeli authorities identified as 19-year-old Omar Amin Abu Leila, was killed, ending a two-day Israel Defence Forces manhunt for the assailant.

On March 17, the Palestinian attacker stabbed Keidan, 19, and proceeded to take Keidan’s assault rifle, shooting at passing vehicles and killing 47-year-old Ahiad Ettinger, a rabbi and settler.

Hamas said the attack was a natural response to crimes committed by the Israeli occupation.

In addition to announcing a manhunt for Abu Leila, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the time that preparations had already begun to demolish the Leila family home, where three other families also live.

Source: Palestine Monitor