Lamesa Press: Israeli military’s announcement of attack on Gaza ‘unprecedented’

LAMESA, Jordan — Palestinian media outlets have reported that Israeli troops are launching an attack on the besieged Palestinian coastal enclave of Gaza on Friday, the first attack by Israeli forces since a ceasefire brokered by the United States ended the conflict two years ago.

Lamas al-Ahmar, a Palestinian news outlet, reported that the military announced it would attack Gaza from the south of the coastal enclave.

It quoted a military source as saying, “We will attack the Gaza Strip from the north, and from the west from where it connects to the Mediterranean Sea.

The operation will be carried out from a command center in the southern area of Gaza City, in the eastern Gaza Strip, and will be coordinated with the IDF and the Red Crescent.”

An unnamed Palestinian media outlet, Al Maalomah, said Israeli forces would target the southern section of the Gaza strip and would target military facilities in the northern section.

“The Israeli military said on Friday that it will launch an attack against the Gaza coastal enclave, where Israeli troops launched an air strike against Hamas positions,” the outlet reported.

“After the Israeli military attacked the Gaza military headquarters, Hamas said that it would continue to resist the attack,” the news outlet said.

“Israel launched its military offensive in Gaza, a strip where over 90 percent of the population lives under blockade, in response to the Hamas rocket fire into Israel, which is aimed at its cities of Ashkelon and Beit Hanoun.”

On Saturday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli government would take all necessary measures to protect the lives of its citizens in the Gaza border, where the Israeli-Egyptian military is operating, and said that Israel would not allow a truce to be broken in the territory, which has been under Israeli control since 2015.

“We will not allow Gaza to be destroyed and the destruction of the people of Gaza, including our children, will not be allowed,” Netanyahu said.

“We are determined to protect our people and the life of our people.”

Israeli media outlets reported that Israel will attack a number of sites in the coastal strip, including military bases and a Hamas-run hospital.

Israel’s military says it will target weapons caches and tunnels used by Hamas, who controls the territory.

“At the time of this announcement, there was no indication that there was an attack by any of the parties, nor that there were any violations of the truce agreement,” a military official told Al Jazeera.

“If there is a violation of the agreement, there will be consequences, and Israel will take all possible measures to prevent such violations,” he said.

The official added that Israel had not made any decision to launch an air raid.

A UN Security Council resolution calling for a cessation of hostilities in the Israeli and Egyptian-run Gaza Strip was adopted in September, but Israeli forces have continued to fire rockets into the territory at an increasing rate.

The Israeli military says the rockets are aimed at Israel’s civilian population.

The US, which negotiated the 2014 cease-fire, said Israel’s actions have “threatened Israel’s security.”

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