south front

IDF Bombs Buildings In Response To Anxiety Attacks
South Front, Sep 14 2021

A slow and steady escalation is brewing in Gaza, with IOF and Hamas exchanging fire. For the third night in a row, Hamas members shelled the territory of Israel. It was all for naught however, as all three occasions had their projectiles intercepted by the Iron Dome. Two rockets were launched on Sep 13, one was intercepted over the town of Sderot, the second was stopped by the Iron Dome over an open field. Three Israeli citizens were injured, but not by rocket fire. They were simply rushing to shelter. Another two citizens received treatment for “acute anxiety attacks.” As per usual in such fire exchanges, the IDF carried out a heavily asymmetrical response, by targeting various alleged Hamas positions throughout Gaza with its warplanes. In response, following the first rocket, the IDF targeted alleged Hamas facilities and caused a bit more damage than anxiety attacks. According to the IDF, four military bases, including an underground tunnel, weapons storage and production facilities, were destroyed. Following the second rocket, Israeli warplanes struck an alleged Hamas military post and a machine gun which was used to fire towards Israeli territory. At least 5 buildings were destroyed in response to the two rockets that caused two anxiety attacks and several people to trip while running.

On the day before, the IDF response was even more severe. Hamas fired 1 rocket towards Israeli territory, and it was intercepted. In response, IDF targeted 13th Division base in central Gaza, the Ain Jalut base to the west of Khan Younis, the al-Bahriyah base in southern Gaza and a chicken farm located on the border with Egypt’s Sinai. All of these, apart from the chicken farm, belong to Hamas’ military wing. Why the chicken farm was targeted and exactly what the hens did to the Israelis is unknown. Heavy material losses were evident, while no human casualties were reported, not even a single person receiving an anxiety or panic attack. The rockets leading to these severe responses were launched in support of 6 Palestinian prisoners who escaped from Gilboa Prison on Sep 6. The IDF carried out raids looking for them, even threatening to arrest their family members. Ultimately, by Sep 13, 4 of the escapees had been caught, while two remain at large. Support for the escapees and their alleged protection may lead to another escalation in the West Bank. There are calls among the Palestinians for Hamas and other factions to take action to help secure the last two escapees and free the others from Israeli prisons.

Violence Escalates In West Bank As Palestinians Rally To Protect Prisoners
South Front, Sep 14 2021

Beginning on Sep 10, IDF warplanes have bombed the besieged Gaza strip in a dramatic escalation of Israel’s violent campaign to take revenge for the daring escape of six Palestinian political prisoners from the high-security Gilboa facility on Sep 6. On the same day, Israeli authorities announced that 4 out of the 6 escapees had been arrested. Two still roam free. Palestinians have rallied throughout the West Bank and clashes with Israeli authorities have been taking place daily all throughout.

Palestinians in every occupied territory have prioritized defending the escaped prisoners in an act of collective resistance. Palestinian fighters in the Jenin refugee camp bravely responded to Israel’s increased military presence by vowing to protect the area and the escapees with their lives. Despite increased troop presence, surveillance, and raids of neighboring towns over the past week, Palestinians vow to protect them.

Additionally, after a week of both celebration and protest, Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem came together to hold a “Day of Rage” on September 10th in solidarity with the escapees and prisoners all over Palestine. Huge protests emerged denouncing the violence and mistreatment that Palestinians suffer in Israeli jails. Israeli forces tear gassed and attacked protestors, including hitting an ambulance. Well over 100 Palestinians were injured.

On Sep 12, heavy gunfire was heard in the Jenin region in the northern West Bank, as Israeli security forces reportedly came under fire during the manhunt for the remaining two escaped prisoners. Meanwhile, Israeli authorities claimed that a “major attack” had been foiled. The Shin Bet security service and police foiled a number of attacks, Channel 12 and 13 reported, without giving details on the major attack prevented. Meanwhile, police were going on high alert, fearing further violence over the Yom Kippur holiday, particularly in Jerusalem. Public Security Minister Omer Barlev told the Kan public broadcaster:

I don’t know if we are on the verge of an escalation, but we are definitely in a very sensitive period: the recent attacks, the escape of the terrorists from the prison and the two who have not yet been caught, alongside our problems with Hamas. Any incident could set off the entire area, so we are preparing for an escalation in Jerusalem, Yesha (West Bank) and Gaza.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad also attributed the recent surge in attacks to the prisoners’ escape. Hamas spokesman Abd’el-Latif al-Qanou said:

The escalation of stabbings in occupied Jerusalem, the shootings, the increasing clashes of popular anger in the West Bank and the demonstrations in Gaza, come within the framework of the freedom uprising launched by our Palestinian people in solidarity with the heroic prisoners and confronting the arrogance of the occupation against them. Sustaining the clash with the Zionist occupation and escalating the pace of operations by various means is the best option to confront the Zionist occupation.

Islamic Jihad spokesperson Daoud Shehab said:

Acts of resistance are the legitimate right of the Palestinian people, and we bless and support this act of jihad.

Tensions have been running high across the West Bank over the past week, following the dramatic escape of the Palestinian prisoners from the high-security Gilboa Prison. Another thing that is exacerbating Palestinian anger is the deteriorating health of six Palestinian hunger strikers, protesting against their administrative detention or detention without trial. Kayed Fasfous, Miqdad Qawasmeh and Hisham Abu Hawash from Hebron, Raik Bisharat from Tubas, Alla al-Araj from Tulkarem and Shadi Abu Aker from Bethlehem are on a prolonged hunger strike, refusing to eat until Israeli authorities inform them what they have been charged with and when they will be released.

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