Israeli airstrikes target anti-blockade boats, Hamas site in Gaza

Source: Xinhua| 2018-05-23 16:13:12|Editor: Li Xia
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GAZA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Israeli jets destroyed on Wednesday two Palestinian boats in Gaza seaport that were supposed to welcome an international flotilla hoping to break the decade-long Israeli blockade on Gaza.

According to local sources, the airstrikes also targeted a military facility of Islamic Hamas movement in northern Gaza Strip.

No casualties have been reported.

Coordinator of the Palestinian committee to defy the Israeli blockade, Allaa Batta, said attacking the boats uncovers the "ugly face" of Israel which always prevents patients and students from traveling for treatment and education.

He stressed that the committee will prepare new boats to receive the ships of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition (FFC), an international group that challenges the blockade Israel imposed on Gaza when Hamas seized the enclave by force in 2007 after routing Palestinian security forces.

On Tuesday, the FFC vessels to break the blockade of Gaza started sailing from the port of the Danish capital Copenhagen, heading to Germany before continuing its journey to the Gaza Strip.

The ships are expected to arrive in Gaza within two months as they will visit many European ports on their way to challenge the Israeli blockade.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army said in a statement that its air forces targeted underground "terror infrastructure" in the northern Gaza Strip and two Hamas sites in Gaza early Wednesday morning.

The army said the strikes came in response to an arson attack on an Israeli military outpost that was carried out by a number of Palestinians who infiltrated into Israel from the Gaza on Tuesday morning.

According to the statement, the airstrikes were also in response to the ongoing Palestinian attempts to harm Israel using drones and kites.

The Gaza-Israel borders have been witnessing unprecedented tension since the Palestinians launched anti-Israel rallies on March 30, during which 112 Palestinians have been killed and more than 13,000 others injured.