Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz says the Tel Aviv regime would return to “the policy of assassinations” against distinguished figures of Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip, as its acts of aggression against the besieged coastal enclave continue unabated.
Speaking in an interview with Israel’s army radio on Thursday, Katz said Israeli agents were working to identify Palestinian fighters responsible for rocket attacks on the occupied territories from the Gaza Strip, and then respond with targeted killings.
“Intelligence efforts are currently focused on determining who is responsible for ordering missile launch instructions in order to work to eliminate him,” he commented.
Katz’s remarks came only hours after Israeli military aircraft carried out a string of strikes against the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army said in a statement on Thursday that “combat jets and helicopters struck several … targets belonging to Hamas [resistance movement] in the Gaza Strip, including military compounds.”
The army added that the strike was carried out in response to the rocket that was launched at the port city of Ashkelon in the occupied territories on Wednesday evening.
The rocket fire forced caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt a campaign rally ahead of the primaries of his Likud party.
Television footage showed Netanyahu and his wife Sara rushed off from the stage amid air red sirens.
A similar incident happened back on September 10, when Netanyahu was forced to flee and seek shelter during a event in the port city of Ashdod campaigning for snap legislative elections.
The Gaza Strip has been under an Israeli siege since June 2007. The blockade has caused a decline in living standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty of Palestinians living in the enclave.
Israel has also launched several wars on the coastal sliver, the last of which began in early July 2014 and ended in late August the same year. The Israeli military aggression killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and injured over 11,100 others.
Palestinians have held weekly protests on the Gaza border, over the siege on the enclave and the right for refugees to return to their homes they fled during the 1948 creation of Israel.
At least 307 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since anti-occupation protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Over 18,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries, according to the Gazan Health Ministry.
The Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14 last year, on the eve of the 70th anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
On June 13, 2018, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the Gaza Strip.
The resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries, garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8 votes against and 45 abstentions.
The resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,” including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
It also called for “immediate steps towards ending the closure and the restrictions imposed by Israel on movement and access into and out of the Gaza Strip.”
In March, a United Nations fact-finding mission found that Israeli forces committed rights violations during their crackdown against the Palestinian protesters in Gaza that may amount to war crimes.
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