Palestinian death toll from Israel's Gaza strikes exceeds 100_china

Alonzo Simpson
May 14, 2021

"IDF air and ground troops are now attacking in the Gaza Strip", the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) said in a brief message, signalling the most serious escalation since the 2014 war.

Israel's bombing campaign in Gaza has now killed at least 119 people, including 31 children and 19 women, the Gaza-based Palestinian Health Ministry reported Friday. He did not elaborate on the specific goal of the assault.

Obeida said in another text message that his group had warned Israel against carrying out any ground military operation in the Gaza Strip.

Rockets from Gaza have continued on Thursday, targeting mostly southern Israel.

The U.S., Israel's key ally, has defended the Jewish state's deadly offensive, which comes in response to rocket fire from the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas which controls the Gaza Strip.

At least 103 Palestinians and eight Israelis have been killed, according to Palestinian and Israeli official figures.

"IDF air and ground forces are carrying out strikes on targets in the Gaza Strip", the statement said.

This video by @omaralsersawi on Instagram captured the moment the Al-Sharouk Tower in the Gaza Strip was bombed by Israeli fighter jets on Wednesday.

The UN said that more than 200 homes and 24 schools had been destroyed or severely damaged in the Gaza Strip in Israeli air raids in the past five days.

The "full-scale war" that the United Nations has warned about appears to be moments away as Israeli tanks and artillery pound Gaza City.

As the crisis has unfurled, China has taken up the Palestinian cause at the Security Council, a venue where it frequently plays its veto card to block motions against its allies.

Hundreds of rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defence system.

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Driven by both religious fervor and political ambition, the terror group hoped to establish itself in the minds of Palestinians and Muslims around the world as the "defender of Jerusalem" by demanding Israel remove its troops from the holy site and firing a salvo of rockets at Jerusalem, even though it risked Israel's eventual response of punishing strikes on its tunnel infrastructure, rocket production capabilities and its senior leadership, Military Intelligence believes.

Mr Netanyahu said the violence was "unacceptable".

A Hamas military spokesman said an Israeli ground offensive would be "an opportunity to bring more dead soldiers and prisoners of the enemy into our possession".

Amid the rocket fire, Israel's civil aviation authority said it had diverted all incoming passenger flights headed for Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport to Ramon airport in the south. He said the rocket attacks must stop immediately.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also called for an end to the violence during talks with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Israeli firefighters battle a field fire after a rocket launched from Gaza strip struck on May 13 in Ramla.

The current round has roots in tensions that have been festering since the beginning of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in April.

The violence quickly spread to the Old City compound containing Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest shrine in Islam and the most sensitive site in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel sees all of Jerusalem as its eternal and indivisible capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern section as a capital of a future state.

Israel and Hamas have been fighting for four days in the most severe flare-up of conflicts between the two sides since 2014. Border police reservists were called up to reinforce police in mixed Arab-Jewish towns, but rampages resumed in multiple areas late Thursday, with a policeman shot by Arab rioters, a Jewish family attacked after entering an Arab town by accident, and a synagogue set afire, Israeli media reported.

Israel's political paralysis after four inconclusive elections, and the emboldening of Jewish ultranationalists through their recent election to parliament, have also played a role.

The fighting erupted on Monday as rivals of Netanyahu, the country's longest-serving prime minister, were trying to form a government to unseat him.

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