• Fri. Oct 22nd, 2021

Israel and Palestinians prepare for a day of protests after the first rocket-free night from Gaza in a week

Byeditorial

May 18, 2021

Editor’s note: This story contains graphic images. Viewer discretion is encouraged.

Jerusalem (CNN) – Israel and the Palestinian territories were bracing for a potentially tense day of protests and strikes on Tuesday as both sides prepare to bury the victims of the deadliest violence the region has seen in years.

Several people will be buried in Gaza, while a Jewish man, who succumbed to his injuries after being seriously injured during acts of group violence in the central Israeli city of Lod last week, will also be buried.

Several Palestinian groups, including Hamas fighters in Gaza and Fatah in the West Bank, called for mass protests and strikes, but it is unclear whether the call will have any force. Palestinian factions have made similar calls in the past, only to see their protest plans fail.

Violence between Israel and Gaza reaches its second week 3:47

Israel imposed a partial shutdown on the West Bank on Tuesday, an Israeli security source told CNN. Only Palestinian men over 45 and construction workers with authorized work permits will be allowed to enter Israel.

Monday night and early Tuesday morning brought a brief glimmer of hope and respite in southern Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) did not sound a warning siren in the area from 11:15 p.m. to 5:34 a.m., the first time in a week that the country spent a night without rocket fire from Gaza. . Although the fighters fired two salvoes towards southern cities shortly after dawn, forcing residents to flee to bomb shelters, as they did for much of Monday.

The IDF said around 90 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel on Monday, dozens of which were intercepted by Israel’s advanced missile defense system. About 20 fell inside Gaza.

How do the 133 Catholics living in Gaza live? 1:44

Israeli airstrikes continued overnight until Tuesday morning, but so far, the Gaza Health Ministry has reported no overnight casualties. The IDF said in a statement that it had targeted a tunnel system in northern Gaza, several residences of Hamas commanders and an anti-tank squad in Gaza City.

At dawn, the IDF also destroyed an office building near Gaza. It was warned in advance that the tower would be attacked, witnesses said, and there were no reports of casualties. Israel has not commented on the incident. The Al-Qassam brigades, the military wing of Hamas, said they fired rockets at Israel in response.

The destroyed building was among several pieces of infrastructure used by civilians who have been targeted by the IDF. Israel has repeatedly accused Hamas of “deliberately” operating near buildings such as hospitals and schools, thereby endangering civilians who risk becoming human shields.

Israel accuses Hamas of using civilians as shields 3:38

Now in its eighth day, this is the deadliest Israeli-Palestinian showdown since the two sides fought a war in 2014, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised on Monday that Israel “will continue to attack the targets of terrorism.”

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said 212 people, including 61 children, had been killed and another 1,400 injured since the violence began. More than 2,500 Palestinians have been made homeless and more than 38,000 are considered internally displaced, according to the United Nations.

At least 10 people in Israel have died as a result of Hamas rocket fire, including two children, since the start of the blast, according to the IDF. Israel’s military previously said it had hit more targets in Gaza in the past week than in all of 2020.

Over the weekend, Israeli forces destroyed a building that housed offices for international media Al Jazeera and The Associated Press, claiming it contained Hamas military intelligence assets. The group has denied that accusation.

Dozens of Israeli planes bombed more than 14 km of the Hamas tunnel system in Gaza from Sunday night to Monday morning and attacked 14 residences that the Israeli army said belonged to commanders of the Palestinian militant group.

Journalists flee building ahead of missile strike 4:24

Hamas authorities and a video showed a health clinic in Gaza City damaged by an Israeli airstrike on a nearby target, with the windows smashed. Gaza’s Health Ministry said the clinic was one of its main coronavirus testing centers.

The ministry previously warned that the destruction of medical facilities could lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases because those fleeing to shelters would be “exposed to the spread of infectious diseases, especially the danger of the spread of the coronavirus.”

An IDF spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday that their target was the main center of operations for Hamas’ internal security forces in the Rimal neighborhood, and that the building was close to the clinic.

So far, attempts to negotiate a ceasefire between the conflicting parties have proven difficult.

US President Joe Biden voiced support for a ceasefire on Monday during a phone call with Netanyahu and “discussed America’s commitment to Egypt and other partners to that end,” a summary of the call read in the White House.

Efforts by Egypt and Qatar to negotiate a truce have stalled on two main points, a senior Hamas leader with direct knowledge of the mediation efforts told CNN on Sunday.

One obstacle is Israel’s insistence that Hamas must initiate the ceasefire at least three hours before Israel, at which point Israel would follow. Hamas flatly rejected this proposal, the Hamas leader said.

This is how Palestinians use underground tunnels 1:35

The Hamas source said the other obstacle is Hamas’ insistence that any ceasefire must include an end to Israel’s “provocations” at the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Islam’s third holiest site, and a resolution of the situation in Sheikh Jarrah, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem where several Palestinian families are facing eviction.

A pro-Jewish settler organization called Nahalat Shimon is using a 1970 law to argue that the owners of the land in question prior to 1948 were Jewish families, so the current Palestinian owners should be evicted and their properties turned over to Israeli Jews. .

Palestinians say restitution laws in Israel are unfair because they have no legal means to reclaim the properties they lost to Jewish families in the late 1940s in what became the state of Israel.

CNN’s Joshua Berlinger in Hong Kong, Tara John and Angela Dewan in London, Rashard Rose in Washington, Amir Tal, Mick Krever and Andrew Carey in Jerusalem, and journalist Lauren Izso in Ashdod, Israel contributed to this report.

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