20 Palestinians including 9 children killed as Israel strikes Gaza amid days of spiralling violence

Violent clashes over Jerusalem escalated dramatically on Monday with Gaza well being officers saying at the least 20 folks, including 9 children, had been killed by Israeli air strikes launched after Palestinian militant groups fired rockets close to Jerusalem.

Israel’s navy stated it carried out strikes in opposition to armed teams, rocket launchers and navy posts in Gaza after militants there crossed what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu known as a “red line” by firing on the Jerusalem space for the primary time since a 2014 conflict.

The rocket fireplace and Israeli air strikes continued late into the night time, with Palestinians reporting loud explosions near Gaza City and throughout the coastal strip. Shortly earlier than midnight native time, Israel’s navy stated Palestinian militants had fired round 150 rockets into Israel, of which dozens had been intercepted by its missile defence programs.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated the rocket assaults from Gaza in opposition to Israel ought to cease “immediately.” He urged all sides to take steps to scale back tensions.

See: Explained: Why Jerusalem is boiling during Ramadan

Monday started with early-morning confrontations at Al-Aqsa Mosque within the coronary heart of Jerusalem’s walled Old City on the compound identified to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary – probably the most delicate website within the Israel-Palestinian battle.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society stated greater than 300 Palestinians had been injured in clashes with Israeli police, who fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear fuel within the compound. Police stated 21 officers had been damage within the skirmishes.

A relative of a Palestinian is comforted at a hospital within the northern Gaza Strip. (Photo:Reuters)

The upsurge in violence got here as Israel celebrated “Jerusalem Day”, marking its seize of East Jerusalem within the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict.

In an effort to defuse tensions, police modified the route of a conventional Jerusalem Day march, during which hundreds of Israeli flag-waving Jewish youth had been resulting from stroll by the Old City close to Damascus Gate, a flashpoint in latest weeks.

But though the difficulty had died down by mid-morning, there have been different focal factors of rigidity, including the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem simply north of the Old City the place a number of Palestinian households face eviction from houses claimed by Jewish settlers in a long-running authorized case.

Also See: UN Security Council holds urgent meet on Jerusalem unrest but skips statement

Demanding that Israel take away its police from Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah, Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza, set a 6 p.m. (1500 GMT) deadline for the forces to be withdrawn.

Even as the marchers had been diverted towards Jaffa Gate, sirens sounded alerting Israelis to incoming rockets from Gaza, forcing the marchers and different Israelis to flee for canopy in Jerusalem, close by cities and in Israeli communities close to Gaza.

Israel views all of Jerusalem as its capital, including the jap half that it annexed after the 1967 conflict in a transfer that has not gained worldwide recognition. Palestinians need East Jerusalem for the capital of a state they search in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Tension had been constructing for weeks in the course of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, amid clashes between Israeli safety forces and Palestinian protesters prompting worldwide concern that occasions may spiral out of management.

Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad militant group claimed duty for the rocket fireplace on Jerusalem.

Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for Hamas’s armed wing, stated it had launched “a rocket strike against the enemy in the occupied Jerusalem in response to their crimes and aggression against the holy city and its aggression against our people in Sheikh Jarrah and Al-Aqsa mosque.”

In response, Netanyahu stated: “The terrorist organisations crossed a red line on Jerusalem Day and attacked us, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.”

He added: “Israel will respond very forcefully. We will not tolerate attacks on our territory, our capital, our citizens and our soldiers. Whoever strikes us will pay a heavy price.”

VIOLENCE AROUND AL-AQSA MOSQUE

For Hamas, some commentators stated, its problem to Israel was an indication to Palestinians that it moderately than Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was now calling the photographs in holding Israel accountable for occasions in Jerusalem.

Israeli navy spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus stated that at the least six of the rockets fired from Gaza had been launched in direction of Jerusalem’s outskirts, the place a home was hit. No casualties had been reported.

“We have started to attack Hamas military targets,” Conricus stated in a briefing to reporters, placing no timeframe on any Israeli offensive. “Hamas will pay a heavy price.”

He stated the navy was trying into reviews that children had been killed.

“We had multiple events of rockets fired by Gaza terrorists falling short. This might be the same,” Conricus stated.

Along the fortified Gaza-Israeli border, a Palestinian anti-tank missile fired from the tiny coastal territory struck a civilian car, injuring one Israeli, he stated.

After studying of the deaths in Gaza, President Abbas determined to cancel celebrations of the upcoming Eid El-Fitr that marks the tip of Ramadan, and restrict them to spiritual rituals solely, based on an announcement revealed by the official WAFA information company.

The report stated he additionally determined to decrease flags to half-mast “to mourn the souls of the martyrs of our people who were killed in the Israeli bombardment on Gaza Strip.”

International efforts to stem the violence appeared to have already begun. A Palestinian official advised Reuters that Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations, which have mediated truces between Israel and Hamas up to now, had been involved with the group’s chief Ismail Haniyeh.

Also Read | Palestinians, Israel police clash at Al-Aqsa mosque, 53 hurt

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