On 13 June, Netanyahu was ousted as prime minister, ending his 12-year tenure. Many hoped the new coalition government of Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid will be somewhat different. But within two days of formation of the new government, the Israeli forces launched airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.
This is the first incident post the ceasefire that was established between Hamas and Israeli Army. Benjamin Netanyahu’s 12-year reign as Israel’s Prime Minister ended on Sunday. Parliament has approved a new “government of change” which is led by nationalist Naftali Bennett.
According to DNA, Palestinians were “unmoved” by such a change in administration as many predict that Bennett, a former defense chief and someone who has a history of advocating for annexing parts of the occupied West Bank, would pursue the same settler colonialism agenda as the previous Israeli leader Netanyahu.
The recent airstrikes took place right after a march was conducted in East Jerusalem on Tuesday by Israeli Nationalists. The March could be seen as Netanyahu’s last orders before leaving office, whereby he rescheduled the march for Tuesday. Marchers streamed past Damascus Gate, waving Israeli flags and chanting, “The nation of Israel is alive.” Marchers could even be heard shouting threats to Palestinians, including, “Death to Arabs!”
Palestinians have expressed the double-standard in allowing Israeli marchers to proceed past Damascus Gate, a prominent entrance to the Old City, and to enter into the area of East Jerusalem.
The police kept up a heavy presence throughout the march even making Palestinian residents turn away from the route of the march for much of the afternoon. Only people who own or work in shops in the area were allowed to be in the area. Many bystanders were even detained by the police. A Palestinian man was filmed being beaten by officers while clearing the area to make way for the march.
According to Mohammad Hamada, a spokesperson for Hamas:
“What is certain is we can’t be silent in the face of the flags march, which is deeply provocative and part of the occupation’s internal politics. If the occupation carries out this arrogance, we have several options in front of us. Armed resistance from Gaza is not the only option. We have the Jerusalem and West Bank fronts, where we can participate in popular resistance. But we also do not rule out armed resistance.”