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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Gaza attack highlights: Israel calls up 9,000 reservists amid fighting with Hamas

Israel-Gaza Attack Today Live News Updates: The Defense Ministry said Thursday that the latest mobilisation, approved by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, was an exceptional call-up.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: May 14, 2021 9:23:06 am
Firefighters and youths inspect destroyed buildings after it was hit by Israeli airstrikes, in Gaza City.

Israel’s Defense Minister has approved the mobilisation of 9,000 more reservist troops amid fighting with Hamas and Israel’s military spokesman says forces are massing on the border with the Gaza Strip. The Defense Ministry said Thursday that the latest mobilisation, approved by Defense Minister Benny Gantz, was an exceptional call-up. It comes after days of heavy fighting in which Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets deep into Israel The military has responded with punishing airstrikes.

Meanwhile, at least 83 Palestinians, including 17 children and seven women, have been killed and more than 480 wounded in the violence between Israel and Hamas, said Gaza’s Health Ministry. The fatalities in Israel include a soldier killed while patrolling the Gaza border and six civilians, including two children and an Indian worker, medical authorities said.

Israel on Wednesday charged forward with a fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip, killing as many as 10 senior Hamas military figures and toppling a pair of high-rise towers housing Hamas facilities in a series of airstrikes, AP reported.

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reaffirm America’s support for Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza. The State Department said that he stressed on the need for de-escalation of violence and the Biden administration’s belief that both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in safety and security.

Israeli airstrikes toppled most of a massive high-rise building in central Gaza City, in the latest escalation in Israel-Hamas fighting which has killed at least 48 Palestinians in Gaza, including 14 children and three women. More than 300 people have been wounded, including 86 children and 39 women. The Gaza building collapse was broadcast on Israeli TV channels, with commentators predicting Gaza militants would respond with a rocket barrage. In response to Israeli strikes, Hamas has said it has launched 130 rockets at Israel, according to AFP.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli military said it has killed several senior Hamas militant commanders in airstrikes in Gaza and Khan Younis. The army released a statement on Wednesday, saying that it carried out a “complex and first-of-its-kind operation.” Those targeted, it said, were “a key part of the Hamas General Staff” and considered close to the head of the group’s military wing.

Israel carried out hundreds of air strikes in Gaza into Wednesday morning, as Hamas and other Palestinian militants fired multiple rocket barrages at Tel Aviv and Beersheba.

Live Blog

Israel, Hamas escalate heavy fighting; 83 killed in violence. Follow LIVE updates

01:26 (IST)14 May 2021
French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

French President Emmanuel Macron has spoken to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about the latest Mideast clashes and says he will speak soon with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as other regional leaders.

A statement from Macron's office on Thursday said the French president expressed condolences for Palestinians killed in the conflict with Israel. But he also condemned attacks by Hamas and urged Abbas to use all means of his influence to restore calm as quickly as possible.

Macron urged a return to peace and a decisive relaunch of peace negotiations.

Also on Thursday, a few dozen people protested in eastern Paris to show support for the Palestinians. AP

00:07 (IST)14 May 2021
Gaza conflict intensifies with rocket barrages and air strikes

Palestinian militants fired more rockets into Israel's commercial heartland on Thursday as Israel kept up a punishing bombing campaign in Gaza and massed tanks and troops on the enclave's border.The four days of cross-border fighting showed no sign of
abating and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the campaign "will take more time".

Violence has also spread to mixed communities of Jews and Arabs in Israel, a new front in the long conflict. Synagogues
were attacked and fighting broke out on the streets of some towns, prompting Israel's president to warn of civil war.At least 87 people have been killed in Gaza, including 18 children, over the past four days, Palestinian medical officials said. Hospitals already under heavy pressure because of the COVID-19 pandemic have faced further strain. Reuters

22:13 (IST)13 May 2021
Israel's escalating conflict with Palestinians saw several airlines suspend services
22:11 (IST)13 May 2021
Israel calls up 9,000 reservists amid fighting with Hamas

Israel's defense minister has approved the mobilization of 9000 more reservist troops amid fighting with Hamas and Israel's military spokesman says forces are massing on the border with the Gaza Strip. The Defense Ministry said Thursday that the latest mobilization approved by Defense Minister Benny Gantz was an exceptional call-up. It comes after days of heavy fighting in which Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets deep into Israel The military has responded with punishing airstrikes. (AP)

19:58 (IST)13 May 2021
Hamas, Israel fighting escalates even amid truce efforts

Hamas sent a heavy barrage of rockets deep into Israel in a matter of minutes on Thursday and Israel pounded Gaza with more airstrikes. The relentless escalation of hostilities came even as Egyptian negotiators held in-person talks with the two sides, intensifying efforts at mediation.

Previous fighting between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers, including a devastating 2014 war, was largely confined to the impoverished and blockaded Palestinian territory and Israeli communities on the frontier. But this round seems to be rippling farther and wider than at any time since the 2000 Palestinian intifada, or uprising, and is tearing apart the country at its seams.

While some rocket attacks have reached the Tel Aviv area, Arab and Jewish mobs have rampaged through the streets, savagely beating people and torching cars. Flights have been cancelled or diverted away from the country's main airport. (AP)

19:56 (IST)13 May 2021
Putin, UN chief Guterres urge Israel, Palestinians to 'stop violent actions': Kremlin

In a statement today, Russian President Putin, UN chief Guterres urged Israel, Palestinians to 'stop violent actions': Kremlin (AFP)

19:52 (IST)13 May 2021
See photos: Palestine marks sombre Eid in Israel conflict shadow
18:38 (IST)13 May 2021
Explained: How Israel’s Iron Dome intercepts rockets

In the conflict between Israel and Palestine, both sides have taken to air strikes and rocket attacks. On Tuesday evening, videos on social media showed rockets fired from Gaza being intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome air defence system. It appeared that the rockets were hitting an invisible shield. Read full story here

17:35 (IST)13 May 2021
Officials: Egypt delegation in Tel Aviv for ceasefire talks

An Egyptian delegation is in Tel Aviv for talks with Israeli officials as part of efforts to negotiate a ceasefire in the escalating conflict with Gaza Egyptian intelligence officials said Thursday. The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not allowed to brief the media.

The same delegation met with Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip first, they said and crossed into Israel by land. Egypt has played a mediating role in the past between the sides.

Late Wednesday, Egypt's foreign minister Sameh Shukry condemned Israeli attacks on Palestinian territory in a phone call with his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi. He said it was important for both sides to avoid escalation and resorting to military means according to a readout of the call. (AP)

17:21 (IST)13 May 2021
Nowhere to run: Fear in Gaza grows amid conflict with Israel

Screams and flying debris enveloped Umm Majed al-Rayyes as explosions hurled her from her bed in Gaza City. Groping in the dark, the 50-year-old grabbed her four children and ran as Israeli bombs struck their apartment building Wednesday, shattering windows, ripping doors to splinters and blasting away concrete.

While casualties mounted this week in the most severe outbreak of violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip since a 2014 war, al-Rayyes and other Palestinians in the line of fire faced an all-too-familiar question: Where should we go?

"This whole territory is a tiny place. It's a prison. Everywhere you go, you're a target," al-Rayyes said by phone from a neighbor's house, where she sought refuge with her teenage sons and daughters and a few bags of clothes after the Israeli airstrike that she says came without warning. (AP)

16:33 (IST)13 May 2021
Covid-19, Mideast turmoil subdue Eid alFitr celebrations

Muslims celebrated Eid alFitr in a subdued mood for a second year Thursday as the COVID-19 pandemic again forced mosque closings and family separations on the holiday marking the end of Ramadan. In the embattled Gaza Strip the call to prayer echoed over pulverized buildings and heaps of rubble as Israeli warplanes continued to pound the territory in the worst outbreak of violence since the 2014 war.

Hamas the Islamic militant group ruling Gaza urged the faithful to mark communal prayers inside their homes or the nearest mosques and avoid being out in the open. (AP)

16:13 (IST)13 May 2021
Video: At least 83 killed in Gaza since violence began
15:57 (IST)13 May 2021
Gaza death toll rises to 83, over 480 wounded: Health Ministry

Gaza's Health Ministry said the death toll has climbed to 83 Palestinians, including 17 children and seven women, with more than 480 people wounded.

Islamic Jihad confirmed the deaths of seven militants while Hamas, the Islamic militant group, that seized power in Gaza from rival Palestinian forces in 2007 acknowledged that a top commander and several other members were killed. Israel says the number of militants killed is much higher than Hamas has acknowledged. (AP)

14:31 (IST)13 May 2021
Virus, Mideast turmoil stifle Eid al-Fitr celebrations

Muslims celebrated Eid al-Fitr in a subdued mood for a second year Thursday as the COVID-19 pandemic again forced mosque closings and family separations on the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

In the embattled Gaza Strip, the call to prayer echoed over pulverized buildings and heaps of rubble as Israeli warplanes continued to pound the territory in the worst outbreak of violence since the 2014 war.

Hamas, the Islamic militant group ruling Gaza, urged the faithful to mark communal prayers inside their homes or the nearest mosques and avoid being out in the open. "It is all airstrikes, destruction and devastation," said Hassan Abu Shaaban, who tried to lighten the mood by passing out chocolates to passersby. Worshippers wearing masks joined communal prayers in the streets of Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. (AP)

13:43 (IST)13 May 2021
Nowhere to run: Fear in Gaza grows amid conflict with Israel

Screams and flying debris enveloped Umm Majed al-Rayyes as explosions hurled her from her bed in Gaza City. Groping in the dark, the 50-year-old grabbed her four children and ran as Israeli bombs struck their apartment building Wednesday, shattering windows, ripping doors to splinters and blasting away concrete.

While casualties mounted this week in the most severe outbreak of violence between Israel and the Gaza Strip since a 2014 war, al-Rayyes and other Palestinians in the line of fire faced an all-too-familiar question: Where should we go?

"This whole territory is a tiny place. It's a prison. Everywhere you go, you're a target," al-Rayyes said by phone from a neighbor's house, where she sought refuge with her teenage sons and daughters and a few bags of clothes after the Israeli airstrike that she says came without warning. (AP)

12:32 (IST)13 May 2021
Blinken calls Netanyahu, backs Israel's defense

US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reaffirm America's support for Israel's right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza. Blinken spoke on Wednesday with the Israeli leader. The State Department said he also repeated U.S. calls for a de-escalation of violence and the Biden administration's belief that both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in safety and security.

According to the State Department, Blinken told Netanyahu that as he and President Joe Biden have said in the past, the administration believes Israelis and Palestinians should 'enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy.' (AP)

11:53 (IST)13 May 2021
We stand with Gaza, we stand with Palestine: Pak PM Imran Khan

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed solidarity with Palestine on Wednesday, as tensions escalated between Israeli forces and Hamas militants, leading to the death of scores.

"I am PM of Pakistan and #WeStandWithGaza #WeStandWithPalestine," Khan posted on micro-blogging website Twitter. He also carried a critical quote of American anti-imperialism intellectual Noam Chomsky on Israeli treatment of Palestinians.

"You take my water, burn my olive trees, destroy my house, take my job, steal my land, imprison my father, kill my mother, bombard my country, starve us all, humiliate us all but I am to blame: I shot a rocket back," according to the quote.

11:52 (IST)13 May 2021
Gal Gadot criticised after she calls for 'solution' to Israel-Palestine conflict

Hollywood star Gal Gadot came under fire on social media after she posted a message of peace in the wake of the latest round of fighting between Israel and Palestine. Gadot, a former Israeli Defence Forces fighter, posted a statement on Twitter, saying it breaks her heart to her see her "country is at war".

"My heart breaks. My country is at war. I worry for my family, my friends. I worry for my people. This is a vicious cycle that has been going on for far too long," the 36-year-old actor wrote.

The "Wonder Woman" star said both Israel and its "neighbour" deserve to live as "free and safe" nations. "I pray for the victims and their families, I pray for this unimaginable hostility to end, I pray for our leaders to find the solution so we could live side by side in peace. I pray for better days," Gadot added.

However, her post on Twitter was flooded with replies that criticised her of being a "propaganda" tool for Israel, given her past military service record. Some also called out her for using the word "neighbour" instead of referencing Palestine by name. (PTI)

10:09 (IST)13 May 2021
Biden spoke to Netanyahu, believes Gaza conflict will conclude soon

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he was hopeful that a cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians would end soon, after a phone conversation he had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “My expectation and hope is this will be closing down sooner than later, but Israel has a right to defend itself,” Biden told reporters at the White House.

Biden did not explain the reasons behind his optimism. He said his national security team had been in frequent contact with counterparts in Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to try to bring about a resolution of the conflict.

09:23 (IST)13 May 2021
Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Israel on Wednesday pressed ahead with a fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip, killing as many as 10 senior Hamas military figures and toppling a pair of high-rise towers housing Hamas facilities in a series of airstrikes. The Islamic militant group showed no signs of backing down and fired hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities.

In just three days, this latest round of fighting between the bitter enemies has already begun to resemble — and even exceed — a devastating 50-day war in 2014. Like that previous war, neither side appears to have an exit strategy. (AP)

Violence in East Jerusalem started off during the last ten days of Ramadan. This led to many Palestinians getting injured at Al Aqsa leaving 300 people injured. The attack on Palestinians began on what Israel believes to be Jerusalem day.

While many worshippers gathered in the Jerusalem old city for Laylat al-Qadr, they were attacked by Israeli police. Israeli forces blocked the roads that led to Al Aqsa, this threatened the freedom of religion for the Palestinian worshippers.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry gave a statement declaring the cause of the violence is — "direct result of incitement by Palestinian terror groups”. It further posted images showing stone purportedly collected inside the mosque, directig that people had planned to hamper the May 10 processions.

 

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