Israel launches airstrikes on Gaza Strip

2. Gaza Airstrikes
Fires are seen following an Israeli airstrike in Gaza on July 16, 2022. (Photo: AFP)
GAZA, Palestinian Territories — Israeli warplanes launched attacks on various parts of the Gaza Strip early on Saturday, the Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported.اضافة اعلان

The barrage came hours after US President Joe Biden visited Israel and the occupied West Bank.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem denounced the strikes, which Wafa said caused “heavy damage but no injuries”.

According to the news agency, the Israeli strikes struck a location “near a tourist resort”, which caused serious damage to nearby houses. The

Israeli warplanes also struck a second location, west of Nusseirat refugee camp, also damaging nearby homes.

Balls of fire lit up the night sky over Gaza City after the strikes, which at one location left a hole in the earth beneath dislodged paving stones in front of a low-rise building, according to AFP.

A man later swept up shattered glass in front of what appeared to be an office.

Impoverished Gaza, home to 2.3 million Palestinians, has been under Israeli blockade since 2007.

Israel claimed the attacks came in retaliation for firing rockets from Gaza into southern Israel.

Biden visit

Before flying to Saudi Arabia on Friday, Biden visited the Israeli-occupied West Bank where he reiterated his administration’s commitment to a two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

There “must be a political horizon that the Palestinian people can actually see”, Biden said.

“I know that the goal of the two states seems so far away,” he said in Bethlehem, alongside the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Abbas said “recognizing the state of Palestine” is the key to peace.

With Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations moribund since 2014, the US delegation has been focusing on economic measures.

Biden announced an additional $200 million for the UNRWA, which saw funding cut by the previous US president Donald Trump.

During a visit earlier Friday to a hospital in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, Biden pledged a $100 million aid package for medical institutions in the area.

He also announced plans to roll out infrastructure for 4G internet across the Gaza Strip and the West Bank by the end of next year, fulfilling a longstanding aspiration among Palestinians.

Biden earlier held talks in Jerusalem with Israeli interim prime minister Yair Lapid, during which a focal point was Iran’s nuclear program and that country’s support for Hamas and other Palestinian resistance movements.

Israel occupied both the Gaza Strip and West Bank in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War.

It withdrew from Gaza in 2005 but has maintained a blockade of the coastal territory since the Hamas takeover.

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