As ceasefire efforts intensify, Israeli air strikes on Gaza continue

As ceasefire efforts intensify, Israeli air strikes on Gaza continue



Israeli air strikes killed at least six people in the Gaza Strip and destroyed the home of a large family. Despite increasing international pressure on the ceasefire, the Israeli military stated that it has expanded its strikes against militant targets in the southern part of the Palestinian territories to inactivate continuous rocket firing from Hamas.

Residents investigated piles of bricks, concrete and other debris that used to be the residences of 40 Al-Astal family members in Khan Younis, a town in southern Gaza. They said that a warning missile hit the building five minutes before the airstrike, and everyone was able to escape.

University professor Ahmed al-Astal described a panic scene before the airstrike, when men, women and children were driven out of the building. He said that some women don’t even have time to cover their hair with a headscarf.

He said: “When the devastating bombing came, we just walked out into the street out of breath.” “They only left the destruction, and the children’s cries filled the streets…. This is happening and no one can. Help us. We ask God to help us.”

The Israeli military said it attacked Khan Younis and militant targets near the town of Rafah. 52 aircraft hit 40 underground targets. The Gaza Ministry of Health said that in these strikes, one woman was killed and eight people were injured.

The Al-Aqsa radio station operated by Hamas said that one of its reporters was killed in an airstrike in Gaza City. Of the six people killed on Wednesday, two others died when an early warning missile fell into their apartment.

Running out of medical supplies

The recent strike came as diplomatic efforts aimed at a ceasefire gathered forces, and Gaza’s infrastructure, which has been weakened by the 14-year blockade, is rapidly deteriorating. The area has very few medical supplies, water and electricity and fuel. After the Islamic militant group Hamas seized electricity in 2007, Israel and Egypt imposed a blockade on it.

The Biden administration privately encouraged Israel to end the bombing of Gaza. Egyptian negotiators are also working hard to stop this battle. Although they have not made progress with Israel, their optimistic international pressure will force it to the table. Officials discussed sensitive diplomacy under conditions of anonymity.

However, it is not clear whether or how long these efforts will bear fruit. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel hopes to restore quiet “swiftly” but did not rule out the possibility of further escalation.

He told the foreign ambassador: “You can conquer them. This is always an open possibility, or you can stop them.” “We are now in deterrence, but I must say that we don’t rule out anything.”

At the same time, Israeli military officials said that a mysterious explosion occurred on the first day of the battle, killing eight members of a Palestinian family. This was caused by an unfired rocket from Gaza. The military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus, said: “This is not an Israeli attack.”

The fighting began on May 10, when Hamas fired long-range rockets into Jerusalem after several days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound (the flashpoint of the holy place for Jews and Muslims). The Palestinians said that the compound adopted severe police tactics and that Jewish settlers threatened to deport dozens of Palestinian families, increasing tensions.

An Israeli Merkava tank fired artillery shells into the Gaza Strip from its current position on the border with the Palestinian enclave. (Jack Gates/AFP/Getty Images)

According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, at least 219 Palestinians were killed in the airstrike, including 63 children and 36 women, and 1,530 were injured, but they did not divide these numbers into combatants and civilians. Hamas and Islamic Jihad said at least 20 fighters were killed, while Israel said at least 130 fighters were killed. About 58,000 Palestinians fled their homes.

Twelve people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier, were killed in a rocket attack.

The Israeli military has launched hundreds of airstrikes against Hamas’ military infrastructure, while Palestinian militants have fired more than 3,700 rockets into Israel, hundreds of which have not met their targets, and most of the rest have been intercepted. The rocket has reached many Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv, bringing life to a standstill in the area near Gaza.

The World Health Organization says the Israeli attack has damaged at least 18 hospitals and clinics and destroyed a medical institution. Nearly half of all essential medicines have been used up.

Rescue vaccine

The Ministry of Health in Gaza stated that debris bombing caused by Israeli airstrikes destroyed the country’s only testing facility, which also manages hundreds of vaccines, and therefore has saved the coronavirus vaccine. The operation was transferred to another clinic.

The head of preventive medicine at the Ministry of Health, Dr. Majdi Dhair, said the country is already struggling to recover from the coronavirus wave that struck in February and currently has more than 4,200 active cases. In Gaza, at least 986 people have died of COVID-19, where only enough supplies can provide vaccines to approximately 55,000 of the 2 million population.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his outlook during a briefing to the ambassador in Israel at a military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, on May 19, 2021. (Sebastian Shiner/Reuters)

One of the buildings razed to the ground by the Israeli air raid was a house of the Associated Press’s Gaza office, as well as other media houses.

Netanyahu said that Hamas military intelligence is operating in the building. U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken said on Tuesday that Israel had provided the United States with information about the bomb blast, but did not elaborate.

Request an independent investigation

The Associated Press has called for an independent investigation of the attack. Gary Pruitt, the president of the news agency, said that the Associated Press has no indication that Hamas is in the building and that “this is something we will try to check.”

The worst fighting since the war between Israel and Hamas in 2014 triggered protests around the world and inspired Israeli Arabs and Palestinians in the occupied territories to call for a general strike on Tuesday. This is a rare collective action that crosses the core boundary of decades of failed peace efforts. Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip in the 1967 Middle East War. This is the territory the Palestinians want for their future country.

Although strikes proceeded peacefully in many places, and shops in East Jerusalem’s usually bustling Old City Market were closed, violence broke out in the occupied West Bank.

Hundreds of Palestinians burned tires and threw stones at Israeli military checkpoints in Ramallah, where the Palestinian Authority’s headquarters is located. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, three protesters were killed and more than 140 injured in clashes with Israeli troops in several cities. The Israeli army said that two soldiers were shot in the leg in Ramallah.


Source link

More to explorer