Israel increases surveillance flights over Gaza amid rising tensions with Hamas

Israel increases surveillance flights over Gaza amid rising tensions with Hamas
2 min read
24 May, 2022
Israeli surveillance planes have increased their flights over Gaza as Hamas warned Israel against provocations in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Israeli drones have been increasingly seen over Gaza [Getty]

Israeli surveillance planes increased their flights over the Gaza Strip on Monday as Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the besieged coastal enclave placed themselves on high alert.

Earlier in the day, senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh warned Israel that his movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, would use "all possibilities" to confront a planned "flag march" by right-wing Israeli extremists through Palestinian east Jerusalem.

The march is due to take place next week amid increasing tension in Jerusalem brought on by Jewish extremist stormings of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third most holy site in Islam.

Residents of the Gaza Strip have expressed concern about the increasing Israeli flights over the territory, nicknaming the drones "buzzers" because of the irritating sounds they make.

It is believed that the purpose of the drones is to increase Israel's bank of targets in the strip in the event of a new war.

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Last year, Hamas and Israel fought a deadly 11 day war after Israeli security forces stormed the Al-Aqsa Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan and injured hundreds of Palestinian worshippers.

266 Palestinians were killed in the territory and thousands more injured.

On Monday, Hamas's overall leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, did not attend a commemoration of the war organised by the movement, causing speculation that Hamas leaders were taking precautions against surprise Israeli strikes targeting them.

Sources quoted by The New Arab's Arabic-language service said that Hamas had sent Israel warnings via intermediaries saying that peace on the Gaza front depended on developments in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Israel has carried out increasing attacks in the West Bank, particularly in the city of Jenin, where dozens of Palestinians have been killed and injured in the past week.

Last month, Hamas said that it was ready to fight a six month war with Israel.