By Palestine Chronicle Staff – Gaza
The current escalation in the Gaza Strip was proceeded with remarks made by Israeli leaders following the alleged discovery of a tunnel dug inside the boundaries of Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Avigdor Liberman, Israeli MK and former Minister of Foreign Affairs said on April 18, 2016 that the uncovering of the tunnel was ‘a hard hit to Israel.’ Following the incident, more remarks suggested a possible confrontation between Israel and Palestinian resistance groups in the Gaza Strip.
On May 4, Israel claimed that a group of its soldiers who were carrying out ‘a security task’ inside the boundaries of the Gaza Strip were subjected to fire and mortar shells.
— DrBasel Abuwarda🇵🇸 (@BaselAbuwarda) May 5, 2016
Following the incident, Israeli forces located to the east and south of Gaza shelled various sites, including Gaza’s International Airport, agricultural lands, military towers and empty lands. The escalation forced Gaza’s Ministry of Education to evacuate schools in the Shujayea Neighborhood.
— Falasteeni (@Falasteeni007) May 5, 2016
Following the escalation, the military wing of Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades, issued a statement warning Israel of the consequences of any future escalation and that its fighters will target any Israeli solider invading the Gaza Strip.
Al-Qassam also demanded Israel to abide by the 2014 truce agreement brokered by Egypt.
Yet, on May 5, Israeli air forces carried out more airstrikes and Israeli artillery shelled more Palestinian towns and cities. The shelling resulted in the death of 50-year old Palestinian Jana Al-Amur.
Breaking: 50-year-old woman killed in Israeli artillery shelling on southern Gaza Strip.
— Belal Aldabbour (@Belalmd12) May 5, 2016
Israel claimed that the shelling was a response to targeting its soldiers stationed near the Gaza border with mortal shells by Palestinian fighters.
The Israeli army issued a statement at 5:48 p.m, which read: “In response to the ongoing attacks against Israeli forces, IAF (Israeli Air Force) aircraft targeted four Hamas military posts in the southern Gaza Strip.”
On the same day, Israeli media outlets claimed that the Israeli army has announced the uncovering of another tunnel dug from the Gaza Strip near the Palestinian city of Rafah.
On May 5 at 9 pm, Israeli media claimed that 12 mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli soldiers’ encampment near the border with the Gaza Strip.
#متابعة | إعلام الاحتلال: سقوط 12 قذيفة هاون باتجاه المواقع العسكرية شرق رفح.
— شبكة فلسطين للحوار (@paldf) May 5, 2016
The escalation in Gaza brings tragic memories to many Palestinians in Gaza and reminds them of the 51-day bombing campaign in the summer of 2014 carried out by Israel, which resulted in the death of over 2,200 Palestinians and the injury of 11,000 others.