Casualties Mount As Violence Intensifies Between Hamas, Israel

Casualties Mount As Violence Intensifies Between Hamas, Israel”

The remains of a tower building which was destroyed in Israeli air strikes, amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, on the first day of Eid al-Fitr holiday, in Gaza City, May 13, 2021.

Hedaia Maarouf, who left her home with her extended family of 19 people, including 13 children, said: "We were terrified for our children, who were screaming and shaking". The death toll stood at 119, including 27 children, it said.

In the northern Gaza Strip, Rafat Tanani, his pregnant wife and four children were killed after an Israeli warplane reduced the building to rubble, residents said.

Power supplies may also be cut further as a result of the military action.

Speaking to the press on Thursday, Biden pointed to his conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the findings of the USA intelligence community to justify his position that Israel's conduct in Gaza has thus far been a reasonably proportionate response to Hamas rocket attacks-which began after Israeli police raided the Al-Aqsa mosque compound, wounding hundreds of Palestinians. The Israeli military said it had intercepted at least five drones carrying explosives launched from Gaza since Thursday.

Inside Israel, seven people have been killed since Monday, including one six-year-old, after a rocket struck a family home. "There are now no IDF ground troops inside the Gaza Strip", said another spokesperson, per the Washington Post.

President Joe Biden defended the Israeli government's response to Palestinian rocket barrages, saying he has not seen a "significant overreaction".

Israel has been pounding Gaza with hundreds of massive air strikes since Monday.

The site was used as Hamas' main military observation centre, according to Israel.

"I said we would extract a very heavy price from Hamas", Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a videotaped statement.

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The Israeli military did not cross into the Gaza Strip last night, but launched an attack on multiple targets inside the enclave, IDF Spokesperson Jonathan Conricus stated on Friday. The statement said peacekeepers are already on the ground and working in cooperation with the Lebanese army. Israel's forces destroyed "many kilometres" of the tunnels during the attack, it claimed.

About 1,750 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel since the conflict escalation, the Israeli military said on Thursday, reported Sputnik.

"With its unconditional financial, military, and diplomatic support of the Israeli apartheid regime", the group continued, "the US bears responsibility for the everyday violence of Israeli oppression and belligerent military occupation, and for allowing the Israeli military and security forces to wield deadly force against Palestinians with impunity". A synagogue was torched overnight and 43 people were arrested, according to police. "It will take more time to restore calm", Netanyahu said Thursday, as the military was authorized to call up 9,000 more reservists and readied scenarios including a possible ground incursion.

Chief Nadav Argaman said Friday that Shin Bet "will not allow violent lawbreakers to carry out terrorism on the streets of Israel". They would need the support of an Arab party, whose leader has said he can not negotiate while Israel is fighting in Gaza.

Trouble loomed on another front after three rockets launched from Lebanon crashed into the Mediterranean off Israel's northern coast late Wednesday, raising the specter of a second battleground with Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah militants.

The United Nations said the Security Council would meet on Sunday to address the conflict, while the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Washington was "deeply concerned about the violence in the streets of Israel".

"Too many innocent civilians have already died", Antonio Guterres tweeted.

Intercommunal violence, including beatings, stabbings, shooting and arson, has this week been reported across the country, from Beersheba in the southern Negev to Tiberias and Haifa in the north.

Defence Minister Benny Gantz ordered a "massive reinforcement" to suppress the internal unrest.

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