Israel is threatening a new and bloody war on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip who are already suffering from a deepening crisis.
Israeli tank fire killed two Palestinian teenagers close to Gaza’s border with Israel last Saturday night.
The killings were caused by a renewed barrage of shelling and airstrikes on Gaza launched this weekend.
The Israeli military boasted of carrying out six “large-scale attacks” on Gaza involving tanks and jets. It claimed to have struck 18 targets linked to the Palestinian resistance group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
It comes shortly after UNRWA—the United Nations body for Palestinian refugees—slammed Israel and the US for Gaza’s crisis.
Israel is tightening its stranglehold on the Gaza Strip, which it has besieged for more than a decade.
It is backed by the US, which recently cut funding to UNRWA to punish Palestinians for opposing Donald Trump’s claim that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.
UNRWA said the siege had turned Gaza into a “time bomb,” nearing total collapse. Crippling fuel shortages meant three Gaza hospitals and 16 medical centres had to suspend operations earlier this month.
And power cuts lasting up to 12 hours at a time means water goes untreated.
The latest assault comes after four Israeli soldiers were caught in an explosion attempting to remove a Palestinian flag near the border.
They were injured by a homemade bomb after entering Gaza to remove the flag, said to have been planted during a demonstration. In response Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman promised a drawn out military operation to “eliminate” the resistance groups he claimed were responsible.
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned, “The incident on the Gaza border is very serious.
“We will respond appropriately”.
On Sunday Netanyahu also threatened a direct attack on Iran.
He said Iran was “the greatest threat to the world,” and that it “champions a master faith” just as the Nazis “championed a master race”.
And waving what he claimed to be a part of an Iranian drone shot down last week Netanyahu warned, “do not test Israel’s resolve”.
Netanyahu’s threats are linked to Israeli attempts to push back Iran, which has gained a foothold in neighbouring Syria (see left).
The tightening siege on Gaza is aimed at isolating Hamas, which has not only led resistance but has also had backing from Iran.
Thousands of Palestinians could suffer and die as a result.
Bent business bribes
Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s threats against Gaza and Iran come as he faces at least four major corruption scandals.
Israeli police recommended last week that Netanyahu be charged for accepting bribes.
He is said to have taken gifts worth some £200,000 in return for political favours.
In another scandal Netanyahu allegedly offered to push legislation limiting the growth of one Israeli newspaper in return for favourable coverage from one of its rivals.
Yet another scandal involves the bribery of government officials during a sale of German submarines to Israel.
And Sara Netanyahu, Binyamin’s wife, is also to stand trial over claims that she used public money to furnish the family’s private home.
When in trouble Netanyahu has often relied on military threats and racist rhetoric to bolster his support in Israel—a society founded on racism against Arabs.