Israeli warplanes attack Gaza as EU calls for ‘accountability’

Air raids on Gaza come in a week where 10 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.

Smoke and flames rise during an Israeli air attack in the Gaza Strip, December 4, 2022.
Smoke and flames rise during an Israeli air attack in the Gaza Strip on December 4, 2022 [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]

Israeli warplanes have attacked sites in the Gaza Strip after a rocket landed in southern Israel and as tensions reach a boiling point in the occupied West Bank, where 10 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since last week.

The Israeli military said the air raids in the early hours of Sunday targeted a weapons manufacturing facility and an underground tunnel belonging to Hamas, according to the Associated Press news agency.

“The strike overnight continues the progress to impede the force build-up”, the Israeli army said in reference to Hamas, AP reported.

No group has claimed responsibility for the rocket, reportedly the first fired in a month, which the Israeli military said landed in an open area near Israel’s separation fence on Saturday evening without causing casualties or damage to property.

The air attack on Gaza follows outrage over the shooting at point-blank range of a young Palestinian man, Ammar Mufleh, 23, by an Israeli soldier in broad daylight on Friday, which was captured on video. The harrowing footage has sparked widespread anger among Palestinians and calls on social media to escalate resistance against the Israeli occupation.

The Palestinian foreign ministry condemned the shooting of Mufleh as tantamount to an execution, and Palestinian activists and social media users are using the hashtag “Huwara Execution” in Arabic, calling for a response to crimes by Israeli forces.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, released a statement saying he was “greatly concerned about the increasing level of violence in the occupied West Bank”.

“During the last days alone, 10 Palestinians have been killed by ISF (Israeli Security Forces). Yesterday’s tragic killing of a Palestinian man, Ammar Mifleh, by a member of the ISF (Israeli Security Forces) was the latest example,” Borrell said.

“Such unacceptable facts must be investigated and there must be full accountability. Under international law, lethal force is only justified in situations in which there exists a serious and imminent threat to life,” he said.

At least 207 Palestinians killed in the occupied territories of the Gaza Strip, West Bank, and East Jerusalem so far this year.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies