Israel strikes in Gaza after arson attacks

Israel strikes in Gaza after arson attacks

The strikes, the military said, came in response to the launching of the incendiary balloons, which the Israeli fire brigade reported caused 20 blazes in open fields in communities near the Gaza border.

UN Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland urged all sides to behave responsibly to avoid damage to a hard-won May 21 ceasefire that ended 11 days of heavy fighting in and around Gaza. Hamas called on Palestinians to "resist" the march.

Israeli Knesset members Bezalel Smotrich, center, waves an Israeli flag together with other Jewish ultranationalists during the Flags March. Far-right Jewish extremists taking part in the parade chanted "Death to Arabs" and "This is our home".

Tuesday's crowd, while boisterous, appeared to be much smaller than during last month's parade.

Earlier, Israeli groups prepared to carry out their procession in east Jerusalem on Tuesday and hoped to pass through Jerusalem's Old City as reports said there were clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the Damascus Gate.

Medics said 33 Palestinians were wounded.

On Monday, Bennett held a brief handover meeting with his predecessor, but without the formal ceremony that traditionally accompanies a change in government - a sign of Netanyahu's lingering anger and hostility toward the new government.

The coalition includes three parties that are headed by politicians who used to be Netanyahu allies, including Bennett.

The parade provided an early challenge for Israel's new prime minister, Naftali Bennett.

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The rescheduled event was initially planned for last Thursday, but was postponed to this Tuesday when police refused to authorize its planned route through the Old City's Damascus Gate entrance and Muslim Quarter.

Far-right Religious Zionism party lawmaker MK Itamar Ben Gvir visits the Damascus Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem, June 10, 2021. While it was diverted from the Damascus Gate at the last minute, it was seen by Palestinians as an unwelcome celebration of Israeli control over what they view as their capital.

Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza did not immediately respond with rocket fire into Israel, but the situation along the Israel-Gaza border remains extremely tense, and the possibility of an imminent and serious escalation can not be ruled out.

Israeli nationalists marched through east Jerusalem in a flag-waving procession as Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces.

The Palestinians claim the city's eastern sector as the capital of their future state.

The terror group also called on Palestinians to "confront Israeli settlers" during the march.

It urged people to gather in the Old City and at the Al-Aqsa Mosque to "rise up in the face of the occupier and resist it by all means to stop its crimes and arrogance".

The so-called March of the Flags, which celebrates the anniversary of Israel's 1967 occupation of the city's eastern sector, was originally scheduled for last Thursday but was delayed due to Israeli police opposition to the route and warnings from Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas.

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