Israel bombs Gaza just three days into new Naftali Bennett administration
The night before, thousands of Israelis participated in the nationalist Flag March commemorating the occupation of East Jerusalem in 1967, with many even cheering "Death to Arabs." The event angered Palestinians who are facing forced expulsions in the eastern part of the city, a campaign the UN has deemed a possible war crime.
To make room for the march, Palestinians were forcibly removed the area around Jerusalem's Damascus Gate. At least 27 were injured from rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades fired by Israeli police.
Israel said it sent its bombs in response to Palestinian incendiary balloons, which reportedly sparked around 20 fires near the Gaza border.
Naftali Bennett has expressed a severe lack of tolerance for these balloon attacks in the past. According to the New York Times, he called the Palestinians who launched such balloons "terrorists" who deserved to be killed just before he became Israel's defense minister in 2019.
Bennett was sworn in as the country's new prime minister on Sunday and has already received Biden's congratulations.
In his greetings, the US president affirmed the alliance with Israel, saying, "the United States remains unwavering in its support for Israel’s security."
There have not yet been any reports of casualties from the bombings in Gaza, but the potential breach of the ceasefire has raised concerns of a return to fighting, which saw 248 Palestinians and 13 Israelis killed last month.
Cover photo: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire