Harry Fear / Gaza
Late on April 2nd 2013 Israel attacked two sites in the Gaza Strip with airstrikes. These airstrikes were the first of their kind since November’s Operation Pillar of Cloud that ended on November 21st with a supposed ceasefire.
Today we investigated the attacks, attempting to visit the airstrike sites.
The first airstrike took place at about 23:50 local time and targeted an area of open land near worked farming areas in the North of Beit Lahia, about 2km from the North border with Israel.
The second airstrike took place at about 23:55 local time and targeted an area of hills near residences east of Gaza City, about 2.5km from the Eastern border with Israel.
Although we were easily able to locate the exact sites during our investigation by asking residents, we cannot share the precise locational information for internal security reasons.
According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, Israel said it struck “Hamas targets” last night in response to recent mortar fire from Gaza. The Israeli defence minister said, “We hold Hamas responsible for everything fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel”. Hamas was democratically elected in January 2006. Various militant groups operate autonomously from Hamas in Gaza.
There were no reported injuries as a result of the airstrikes. Following the strikes Gazan emergency services were put on red alert, while security and police facilities were evacuated. Israeli drones and fighter jets flew over Gaza in the succeeding hours.
For internal security reasons we were forbidden and thus unable to visit the precise sites on foot, but we were permitted to take the photo above just metres away from the first airstrike site.
Special thanks to: Noor Harazeen.