Israel launched airstrikes against the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, the first offensive move since the May 20 ceasefire that ended the 11-day conflict between the Israeli Defense Forces and Hamas last month.
The attack followed reports of incendiary balloons rising from the Palestinian territory, which local media reported caused more than two dozen fires in southern Israel.
This comes only two days after former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was ousted and replaced with a new right-wing leader, Naftali Bennett, who opposes the idea of a Palestinian state.
The IDF said its aircraft targeted and attacked Hamas armed compounds in Gaza City and the southern town of Khan Younis, adding the military is “ready for all scenarios,” including a revived conflict in the wake of continued attacks stemming from Gaza.
A spokesperson for Hamas confirmed the Israeli strikes and said Palestinians would continue their resistance and “defend their rights and sacred sites” across Jerusalem.
Before the strike, thousands of Israelis gathered around the Damascus Gate of Jerusalem’s Old City on Tuesday before walking to Judaism’s holy Western Wall, which reportedly angered some Palestinians.
Israel fortified its deployment of the Iron Dome anti-missile system in anticipation of possible rocket attacks from Gaza but did not utilize the defense system as no rockets were detected from the enclave at the time of publishing this report.
The Washington Examiner contacted the IDF but did not immediately receive a response.