World Rockets pound Israel after Gaza militants killed

00:56  13 may  2021
00:56  13 may  2021 Source:   bbc.com

The fighting in Gaza is over. The humanitarian crisis isn’t.

  The fighting in Gaza is over. The humanitarian crisis isn’t. Aid is beginning to flow, but the damage has been done.Earlier this week, Tibi hadn’t been sure if she would see the next morning, or the morning after that, so heavy was the bombardment from Israeli airstrikes. This week, Tibi’s daughter, pregnant for the first time, gave birth in the hospital, Tibi’s granddaughter, Naya, entering the world to the sound of shelling for hours and hours.

Hamas militants have launched dozens of rockets on Israel after Israeli air strikes killed senior commanders and felled a multi-storey building in Gaza.

a stack of smoke: The al-Sharouk tower housed al-Aqsa television © Reuters The al-Sharouk tower housed al-Aqsa television

Reports say several locations in southern Israel were hit, leaving one young child seriously wounded.

The escalation of the fighting, which began on Monday, has prompted the UN to warn of a "full-scale war".

At least 65 people in Gaza, including 14 children, and six people in Israel have been killed since then.

The fighting erupted after weeks of rising Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem which culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by Muslims and Jews.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Wants Israel's 'War Crimes' Punished by International Courts

  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Wants Israel's 'War Crimes' Punished by International Courts Israel said it has avoided civilians and given warnings ahead of some airstrikes, and that it is attacking only militant groups. Abbas is the head of the internationally backed Palestinian Authority, which was forced out of Gaza by the militant Hamas group in 2007. The Palestinian Authority now holds limited autonomy in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The International Criminal Court launched an investigation earlier this year into possible war crimes committed by Israel against Palestinian civilians during the last Gaza war in 2014. For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

  • Violence explodes in the mixed Arab-Jewish town of Lod
  • Children terrified as locals scramble for cover
  • Jeremy Bowen: Old grievances fuel new fighting
  • Israel-Gaza violence dominates Arab media

Violent unrest in towns in Israel with mixed Jewish and Arab populations has led to hundreds of arrests. Lod near Tel Aviv is under a state of emergency.

Palestinian militants have been firing rockets into Israel since Monday night, and Israel has responded by hitting targets in the territory.

Hundreds of air strikes and rocket attacks have been carried out.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says that more than 360 people have been injured there since the conflict began, as well as the 65 who have died.

Mr Netanyahu said the government would use all its strength to protect Israel from enemies on the outside and rioters on the inside.

The Israel-Hamas ceasefire stopped the fighting — but changed nothing

  The Israel-Hamas ceasefire stopped the fighting — but changed nothing What the Israel-Hamas ceasefire means (and doesn’t) for the future of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.In the narrowest sense, Hamas and Israel have both accomplished their immediate goals. Hamas got to portray itself as the defender of the Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, where much of the unrest began in recent weeks, and prove its capacity to hit most of Israel with its rockets. Israel, meanwhile, can say it has degraded Hamas’s military capabilities, in particular the underground network of tunnels from which it operates.

But the Palestinian Authority condemned Israel's "military aggression" in a tweet, saying it was "traumatizing an already beleaguered population of 2 million people".

What happened on Wednesday?

Militants in Gaza said they had fired 130 rockets into Israel in response to an Israeli aid raid which destroyed the al-Sharouk tower in Gaza City.

The tower, which is the third tall building to be destroyed by air strikes this week, housed al-Aqsa TV, the station run by Hamas.

a little boy that is standing in the street: This woman and child were evacuated from a building in Gaza © Reuters This woman and child were evacuated from a building in Gaza

Israel said it had killed senior Hamas officials in Gaza, and was also targeting missile launching sites. Hamas confirmed a senior commander and "other leaders" had died.

The Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said on Wednesday that their strikes on Gaza were the largest since the conflict in 2014.

Residents had been warned to evacuate the buildings before fighter jets attacked; however health officials said there were still civilian deaths.

Nearly 47K Palestinians Displaced by Fighting, Hundreds of Homes Destroyed: U.N.

  Nearly 47K Palestinians Displaced by Fighting, Hundreds of Homes Destroyed: U.N. U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs spokesman Jens Laerke said electricity across Gaza is available for only six to eight hours a day in the latest chapter of the conflict, which shows no signs of resolution, the Associated Press reported. Hamas and other militants have fired more than 3,400 rockets into Israel, whose response has destroyed 132 buildings and severely compromised an additional 316 housing units. Israel and Egypt have imposed a blockade on Gaza since Hamas' rise to power in 2007, a move Israel says is necessary to prevent the group from accessing arms.

Five members of one family were killed in an air strike on Tuesday, including two young brothers, according to AFP news agency.

"We were laughing and having fun when suddenly they began to bomb us. Everything around us caught fire," their 14-year-old cousin, Ibrahim, said, breaking down in tears as he described their death.

Meanwhile millions of Israelis were in bomb shelters on Wednesday evening, according to the IDF, after sirens warning of rockets sounded across the country.

A six-year-old boy was badly injured in an attack on an apartment building in the town of Sderot.

Anna Ahronheim, the defence and security correspondent of the Jerusalem Post, described spending Tuesday night in a shelter with her five-month-old baby.

"To hear hundreds of interceptions and even to hear rockets fall near us was horrifying," she told the BBC.

tall buildings in the background: Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system - seen here over Ashkelon - aims to protect towns and cities from rockets © Reuters Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system - seen here over Ashkelon - aims to protect towns and cities from rockets

On Wednesday morning an Israeli soldier was killed by an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza into Israel, authorities said, while two Israeli Arabs died in Lod when a rocket hit their car.

Life slowly resumes in ravaged Gaza Strip after ceasefire

  Life slowly resumes in ravaged Gaza Strip after ceasefire Cafes reopened, fishermen set out to sea and shopkeepers dusted off shelves Saturday as Gazans slowly resumed their daily lives after a deadly 11-day conflict between Hamas and Israel. "There's dust everywhere, dust from the Israeli bombs clinging to the clothes. We won't be able to sell them," he said.Nearby store-owner Wael Amin al-Sharafa said he had stocked up his shop with new clothes to sell during the usually busy season of Eid al-Fitr at the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan."But now it's all lost," he said. "Who will pay for all this? I have no idea.

Israeli police reported what they called violent riots in dozens of areas of the country overnight, with 270 people arrested.

Synagogues and businesses in Lod were set on fire.

The town was placed under curfew between 20:00 local time on Wednesday and 04:00 on Thursday.

How has the world responded?

United Nations Secretary General António Guterres said he was "gravely concerned" by the ongoing violence. While the UN Security Council has has met to discuss the issue it has not issued a statement.

In a phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken condemned Hamas rocket attacks but said Israel had an obligation to avoid civilian casualties.

He said he had sent Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hady Amr to the region to meet both sides.

Russia has called for an urgent meeting of the Middle East Quartet (the US, EU, UN and Russia).

A Russian foreign ministry statement quoted a Hamas spokesman as saying the movement was ready for a ceasefire if Israel stopped "violent acts" in East Jerusalem and "illegal measures in respect of its native Arab residents".

map © BBC

What has caused the violence?

The fighting between Israel and Hamas was triggered by days of escalating clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at a holy hilltop compound in East Jerusalem.

Israeli Airstrikes on Gaza Killed More This Week Than Hamas Rockets Have in 20 Years

  Israeli Airstrikes on Gaza Killed More This Week Than Hamas Rockets Have in 20 Years A Newsweek review of data compiled by Israel's foreign ministry has found at least 16 people whose deaths were officially linked to rockets fired by Hamas. Your browser does not support this video They include 12 civilians, two members of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and two foreign workers. Of the 16 attacks, the MFA has attributed one to "Hamas terrorists," while stating the Islamist group has claimed the rest. In the case of 30 fatalities by Palestinian rockets, the MFA did not specify which group fired the projectiles. The MFA stated approximately six of them were killed by Hamas-produced Qassam rockets.

The site is revered by both Muslims, who call it the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), and Jews, for whom it is known as the Temple Mount. Hamas demanded Israel remove police from there and the nearby predominantly Arab district of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families face eviction by Jewish settlers. Hamas launched rockets when its ultimatum went unheeded.

Palestinian anger had already been stoked by weeks of rising tension in East Jerusalem, inflamed by a series of confrontations with police since the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan in mid-April.

  • What makes Jerusalem so holy?
  • The Israel-Palestinian conflict explained
map © BBC

It was further fuelled by the threatened eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in East Jerusalem by Jewish settlers and Israel's annual celebration of its capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war, known as Jerusalem Day.

The fate of the city, with its deep religious and national significance to both sides, lies at the heart of the decades-old Israel-Palestinian conflict. Israel in effect annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 and considers the entire city its capital, though this is not recognised by the vast majority of other countries.

Palestinians claim the eastern half of Jerusalem as the capital of a hoped-for state of their own.

a close up of a logo © BBC

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Bloodshed in West Bank as conflicts broadens .
Palestinians and the Israeli security forces clash during protests in the occupied West Bank.At least 10 Palestinians are reported to have died in the West Bank unrest, while hundreds have been injured.

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