Israeli fighter jets have conducted overflights over the Gaza Strip, sparking fears of a new military strike against the coastal region.
Several banks, government offices and schools closed in the populated strip Sunday after Israeli F-16s flew over the territory, Ha’aretz reported.
The residents took refuge in their homes and shops also closed in the center of Gaza City after the warplanes raised speculation of another war in the region.
The densely-populated territory had been pounded for 22 days after Israel launched its Operation Cast Lead on December 27, allegedly to stop rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip as well as preventing ‘arms smuggling’ into the region.
Palestinian fighters say the rocket-firing is a response to the Tel Aviv’s 19-month-long blockade on the costal strip which has left Gaza residents in dire straights.
The full scale offensive on the sliver has left more than 1,300 people including 460 children killed, while leaving over 5,000 others wounded.
Tel Aviv eventually halted the deadly campaign after failing to achieve its goals but threatened to launch a new strike against the strip should Hamas resume rearmament.