• Fri. Oct 22nd, 2021

Conflict between Israel and Palestinians: death toll rises, horror continues in Gaza

Byeditorial

May 16, 2021

Editor’s note: this story contains sensitive images. Viewer discretion is encouraged.

(CNN) – Israel bombed the home of a Hamas leader and destroyed a family’s home, both targeting Gaza, while the organization launched more than 100 missiles toward Israel on Sunday.

Due to the above, it is one of the days with the most deaths so far in the conflict that broke out a week ago.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said they had bombed the home of Yahya Sinwar, Hamas leader since 2017, in the Khan Yunis neighborhood of southern Gaza early Sunday morning.

The IDF spokesman, Brigadier General Hidai Zilberman, told local media that Sinwar had been unharmed in the airstrike.

Another Israeli airstrike in Gaza City early Sunday killed at least 33 Palestinians – including eight children – and injured 50 others, mostly women and children, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Palestinian civil defense and medical teams reported that five children were rescued from the rubble on Sunday morning. Scenes from the rescue operation show a girl with a head injury, who is pulled out of the rubble. His expression combines shock and horror.

Palestinian paramedics evacuate a girl from the rubble of a building destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza’s Al Rimal residential district on May 16.

What are the Israeli authorities saying about the attacks in Gaza?

On Sunday morning, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) indicated in a Twitter message that the Hamas military wing fired 120 rockets between 7:00 p.m. on Saturday and 7:00 a.m. on Sunday (local time) , of which 11 fell in Gaza.

For his part, Zilberman added on Sunday that dozens of rocket launchers capable of firing multiple rockets at once were attacked.

Likewise, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in a tweet on Saturday that “Israel has no interest in escalation, but is prepared for any scenario.” This echoed an Israeli military official, who said on Friday that Israel is prepared to continue hitting “major targets” for a “long period.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underscored that stance on Saturday, stating that he will “respond strongly” in Gaza “until the security of our people is restored and restored,” and said the country is trying to avoid the attacks. civilian casualties in their attacks.

This is the map of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict 1:04

Civilian deaths don’t stop

But civilian deaths continue to rise. With the latest victims, the body count in Gaza it amounted to a total of 181, including at least 52 children and 31 women, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

Since the beginning of the airstrikes on Gaza this week, at least 1,225 have been injured, and the number is expected to rise, according to the ministry, as paramedics continue to carry out search operations.

On Sunday, the IDF released photos allegedly showing Hamas rocket installations and tunnel entrances located in close proximity to civilian infrastructure such as hospitals and schools.

Regarding the above, they stated that “Hamas deliberately and systematically places military targets within the civilian population, thereby exposing its citizens to danger.”

One of the worst waves of violence since the 2014 Gaza war

The recent conflict began early last week, fueled by controversy over evictions of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem and restrictions imposed on a popular meeting point near the Old City.

Since then, it has rapidly escalated into one of the worst waves of violence in the area since the 2014 Gaza war, in which more than 2,200 Gazans were killed during the fighting, about half of them civilians. including more than 550 children, according to a report by the United Nations (UN).

Conflict Israel Palestinians

In the background, the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system intercepts rockets fired by Hamas into southern Israel from Beit Lahia in northern Gaza on May 16.

Conflict reaches Israeli cities and the West Bank

Unrest and violent clashes between Arab and Jewish citizens have also spread to several Israeli cities this week, including Lod, Bat Yam and Acre. Following this, Netanyahu warned about “lynchings»In both communities.

And this violence moved to the occupied West Bank, where at least 11 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during clashes on Friday, the highest number of people killed in a single day in the West Bank in years, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, based in Gaza.

What does the UN say?

In a statement, the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, was “dismayed” by the growing number of civilian victims.

“The Secretary General reminds all parties that any indiscriminate attack against civilian structures and the media violates international law and must be avoided at all costs,” the statement said.

Guterres’ comments come as the UN Security Council is scheduled to meet on Sunday to discuss the conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians.

However, with events that include sirens, bombs, injuries and deaths over the weekend – marking almost a week of violence – it remains unclear how those UN efforts will be handled.

The position of the Biden government

For its part, Joe Biden’s government, which said its objective is the de-escalation of violence and collaboration with allies in the region, sent the Undersecretary of State for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, Hady Amr, to Israel on Friday.

Likewise, the United States blocked previous efforts by the UN Security Council to meet, preferring direct diplomacy over the conflict rather than discussion in an international forum.

Biden He spoke with both Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday. In his call with the Israeli leader, Biden “reaffirmed his strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks,” and also expressed concern for the Palestinian people.

Abbas, in a conference following the phone call with the US president, asked him to intervene to end the “Israeli attack on the Palestinian people everywhere.”

Conflict Israel Palestinians

Palestinian firefighters urgently search for survivors and bodies under the rubble after a series of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza on May 16.

Exchange of attacks

Early on Saturday, a baby was the only survivor in a house that was hit and destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in the Al Shati refugee camp, which killed 10 members of the baby’s family, including eight children. according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

At least 20 other Palestinians were injured after several nearby houses were damaged in this attack, he added.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict grows 5:10

Hamas militants in Gaza responded to airstrikes on Saturday with rockets targeting the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Ashdod and Sderot.

A 55-year-old Israeli man died early Saturday afternoon after a rocket hit a series of buildings in a residential area in a Tel Aviv suburb called Ramat Gan, bringing the death toll in Israel to 10. , according to the emergency service of the country.

Attack on media offices

Shortly thereafter, an Israeli airstrike hit the Jala’a building – which contained the international media offices Al Jazeera and AP, among others.

For its part, the AP agency said in a statement that it was “shocked and horrified that the Israeli military targeted and destroyed the building that housed the AP office and other news organizations in Gaza,” and called on the Israeli government to It says the building contained smart Hamas military assets, to “present the evidence.”

“This attack is an incredibly disturbing event,” he added in the statement, which concludes: “The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.”

CNN’s Kara Fox, Ibrahim Dahman, Mick Krever, Kareem El Damanhoury, Tamara Qiblawi, Richard Roth, and Celine Alkhaldi contributed to this article.

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