Early on 16 June 2021, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) carried out airstrikes in the Gaza Strip after militants launched incendiary balloons from Gaza into southern Israel the previous day. The balloons triggered 20 small fires but caused no damage or casualties. According to the IDF, the airstrikes targeted facilities belonging to the Hamas militant group in Gaza City and Khan Younis. There were no immediate reports of casualties. The airstrikes followed clashes between Palestinians and members of the IDF along the Gaza border, during which soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the protesters.
On the evening of 15 June, a far-right Flag March occurred in Jerusalem to commemorate Israel’s capture of East Jerusalem in 1967. Hundreds of demonstrators waving Israeli flags passed through Jerusalem’s Old City and gathered in the Damascus Gate, in some cases chanting slogans at nearby Palestinian merchants. Israeli security personnel arrested at least 17 Palestinians during the march and removed several dozen others from the vicinity of the Damascus Gate plaza leading into the Old City. Elsewhere in East Jerusalem, Israeli police officers fired stun grenades to disperse Palestinian protesters; at least 33 Palestinians were injured.