Israel Denounced for Attack After Late-Night Raid Kills Seven Palestinians

Just hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insisted — despite the abundance of evidence to the contrary — that he wants to “avoid” military conflict with the Palestinians, a unit of Israeli soldiers flagrantly violated a ceasefire agreement Sunday night by invading the occupied Gaza Strip and killing at least seven Palestinians before fleeing under the cover of airstrikes.

According to Al Jazeera, an Israeli special forces team entered Gaza late Sunday in a civilian vehicle and proceeded to shoot and kill one Hamas commander in what Gaza officials denounced as an assassination and a “cowardly” escalation of tensions.

Six more Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were later killed after a firefight, which prompted the Israeli unit to call in airstrikes for cover to escape. One Palestinian witness said Gaza was slammed with as many as 40 airstrikes in less than an hour as the Israeli team fled the besieged Gaza Strip, which is in the midst of a severe humanitarian crisis due to decades of brutal Israeli occupation.

“Imagine if Palestinians crossed into Israel and killed [seven] Israelis, all hell would break loose but Palestinians are expected to just accept this,” Yousef Munayyer, executive director of the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights, wrote on Twitter.

Israel insisted that its Sunday night raid and severe escalation was nothing more than an intelligence mission gone awry — an explanation that was rejected by Palestinians and described by one commentator as “deeply embarrassing.”

“Whatever it was, it’s a reminder that Israel goes in and out of Gaza as it pleases. We all know what happens to Palestinians who as much as go near the fence,” noted Israeli-American journalist Mairav Zonszein, alluding to the Israeli military’s indiscriminate massacre of Palestinian protestors along the border fence separating Israel and the occupied Gaza Strip.

Photos of Israel’s latest bombardment of Gaza and its aftermath began to circulate on social media Monday morning.