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World The Latest: Palestinian leader accuses Israel of war crimes

15:15  19 may  2021
15:15  19 may  2021 Source:   msn.com

West Bank erupts in protest amid more Israel-Hamas fighting

  West Bank erupts in protest amid more Israel-Hamas fighting GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Turmoil from the battle between Israel and Hamas spilled over into the West Bank on Friday, sparking the most widespread Palestinian protests in years as hundreds of young demonstrators in multiple towns clashed with Israeli troops, who shot and killed at least 11 people. Israel's bombardment of the Gaza Strip continued into early Saturday, when an airstrike on a house in Gaza City killed at least seven Palestinians — the highest number of fatalities in a single hit. That strike came a day after a furious overnight barrage of tank fire and airstrikes that wreaked destruction in some towns, killed a family of six in their house and sent thousands fleeing their homes.

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says Israel is carrying out “organized state terrorism and war crimes” in Gaza that are punishable under international law.

Palestinian Wael Bernat, left, comforts his crying son Ahmad during the funeral of his other son Islam Bernat, 16, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Multiple protesters were killed and more than 140 wounded in clashes with Israeli troops in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and other cities on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Israeli army said at least a few soldiers were wounded in Ramallah by gunshots to the leg. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) © Provided by Associated Press Palestinian Wael Bernat, left, comforts his crying son Ahmad during the funeral of his other son Islam Bernat, 16, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Multiple protesters were killed and more than 140 wounded in clashes with Israeli troops in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and other cities on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Israeli army said at least a few soldiers were wounded in Ramallah by gunshots to the leg. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

In a televised address Wednesday, he said the Palestinians “will not hesitate to pursue those who commit such crimes in front of international courts.”

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Abbas is the head of the internationally backed Palestinian Authority, whose forces were driven from Gaza when the militant Hamas group seized power in 2007. The PA has limited autonomy in parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Workers inspect the rubble of the destroyed Abu Hussein building that was hit by an Israeli airstrike early morning, in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana) © Provided by Associated Press Workers inspect the rubble of the destroyed Abu Hussein building that was hit by an Israeli airstrike early morning, in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Earlier this year, the International Criminal Court launched an investigation into possible war crimes committed by Israel and Palestinian militants during the last Gaza war, in 2014. It has expressed concern about the latest round of fighting.

Abbas accused Israel of “brutal attacks on civilians and deliberate bombardment of homes.” Israel says it only strikes militant targets and makes every effort to avoid harming civilians, including by warning people ahead of some strikes.

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People inspect the rubble of the destroyed Abu Hussein building that was hit by an Israeli airstrike in the early morning in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana) © Provided by Associated Press People inspect the rubble of the destroyed Abu Hussein building that was hit by an Israeli airstrike in the early morning in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Hamas and other militant groups have launched hundreds of rockets into Israel. The indiscriminate fire is widely seen as violating international law.

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ISLAMABAD-- Pakistan’s foreign minister has denounced Israel’s continued airstrikes against the Gaza Strip in a meeting with his Palestinian counterpart.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi made his comment during a meeting with Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki during a visit to Turkey. Qureshi will travel next to New York to address the U.N. General Assembly to demand an immediate halt to Israel’s attacks on Palestinians.

People inspect the rubble of destroyed the Abu Hussein building that was hit by an Israeli airstrike early morning, in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana) © Provided by Associated Press People inspect the rubble of destroyed the Abu Hussein building that was hit by an Israeli airstrike early morning, in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

According to a foreign ministry statement, Qureshi denounced Israel's attacks on Palestinians. The statement also quotes al-Maliki praising Pakistan’s efforts aimed at mobilizing international support for the Palestinians.

Israel Opposition Leader Yair Lapid Accuses Netanyahu of Jeopardizing Relationship With U.S.

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Palestinian mourners carry the bodies of Islam Bernat, 16, left and Adham Kashef, 20, during their funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Multiple protesters were killed and more than 140 wounded in clashes with Israeli troops in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and other cities on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Israeli army said at least a few soldiers were wounded in Ramallah by gunshots to the leg. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) © Provided by Associated Press Palestinian mourners carry the bodies of Islam Bernat, 16, left and Adham Kashef, 20, during their funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Multiple protesters were killed and more than 140 wounded in clashes with Israeli troops in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and other cities on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Israeli army said at least a few soldiers were wounded in Ramallah by gunshots to the leg. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

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TEL AVIV, Israel -- Israeli military officials say a mysterious explosion that killed eight members of a Palestinian family on the first day of the current round of fighting in the Gaza Strip was caused by a misfired Palestinian rocket, not an Israeli airstrike.

Palestinian mourners carry the bodies of Islam Bernat, 16, left and Adham Kashef, 20, during their funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Multiple protesters were killed and more than 140 wounded in clashes with Israeli troops in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and other cities on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Israeli army said at least a few soldiers were wounded in Ramallah by gunshots to the leg. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) © Provided by Associated Press Palestinian mourners carry the bodies of Islam Bernat, 16, left and Adham Kashef, 20, during their funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Multiple protesters were killed and more than 140 wounded in clashes with Israeli troops in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and other cities on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Israeli army said at least a few soldiers were wounded in Ramallah by gunshots to the leg. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said the rocket was launched in Gaza and fell inside Gaza and killed “almost an entire family.” Conricus added that “this wasn’t an Israeli attack.”

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on during a briefing to ambassadors to Israel at the Hakirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on during a briefing to ambassadors to Israel at the Hakirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, Pool)

A senior military officer on Wednesday said the incident was investigated, and Israel did not strike the Beit Hanoun area where the family members were killed that night.

The officer said a total of 700 rockets — roughly one-fifth of the total launched by Palestinian militants — failed to reach Israel and landed inside Gaza. He provided no further estimates on how many Palestinians had been harmed by errant rocket fire. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity under military briefing guidelines.

At least 219 Palestinians have been killed in airstrikes, including 63 children and 36 women, with 1,530 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry. It does not break down how many militants are among the dead or whether people have died from misfired rockets.

Palestinians inspect the damage from an early morning Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa) © Provided by Associated Press Palestinians inspect the damage from an early morning Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Israel says Hamas is responsible for civilian deaths because the militant group uses residential areas for cover to fire rockets and carry out other military operations. Twelve people in Israel have also been killed, 10 by rocket fire aimed at Israeli towns and cities. Two people died in accidents while rushing for shelter.

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Palestinian mourners chant slogans while carrying the body of Islam Bernat, 16, during his funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Multiple protesters were killed and more than 140 wounded in clashes with Israeli troops in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and other cities on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Israeli army said at least a few soldiers were wounded in Ramallah by gunshots to the leg. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser) © Provided by Associated Press Palestinian mourners chant slogans while carrying the body of Islam Bernat, 16, during his funeral in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. Multiple protesters were killed and more than 140 wounded in clashes with Israeli troops in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and other cities on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. The Israeli army said at least a few soldiers were wounded in Ramallah by gunshots to the leg. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

TEL AVIV, Israel — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel is pursuing “forceful deterrence” against Gaza’s Hamas rulers and does not rule out a further escalation.

Meeting with foreign ambassadors on Wednesday, he said “you can either conquer them, and that’s always an open possibility, or you can deter them.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he shows a slideshow during a briefing to ambassadors to Israel at the Hakirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, Pool) © Provided by Associated Press Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures as he shows a slideshow during a briefing to ambassadors to Israel at the Hakirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, May 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, Pool)

“We are engaged right now in forceful deterrence, but I have to say, we don’t rule out anything.”

Israel has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against what it says are militant targets in Gaza since the fourth war between the two sides broke out earlier this month. Hamas and other militants have fired more than 3,700 rockets at Israel.

Netanyahu said Israel hopes to restore quiet “quickly” and is doing everything it can to avoid civilian casualties.

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli airstrikes have killed at least six people overnight across the Gaza Strip and destroyed the home of an extended family.

Despite growing international pressure for a cease-fire, the military said Wednesday it widened its strikes on militant targets in the Palestinian territory’s south to blunt continuing rocket fire from Hamas.

Residents surveyed the piles of bricks, concrete and other debris that had once been the home of 40 members of al-Astal family. They said everyone escaped after a warning missile hit the house.

The Israeli military says it struck militant targets around the towns of Khan Younis and Rafah.

Gaza health officials say at least 219 Palestinians have been killed in airstrikes. Twelve people in Israel have been killed in rocket attacks.

Hady Amr's Middle East | Opinion .
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