Hamas fires rockets after Israel destroys third Gaza tower

Hamas, the group that rules the Gaza Strip, launched a new barrage of rockets into Israel after Israeli missiles destroyed a third tower in the besieged coastal territory.

Heavy bombardment on the Gaza Strip continued into Wednesday as Israeli forces continued to launch intensive raids on various locations. Hamas confirmed that its Gaza City commander, Bassem Issa, was killed in an Israeli airstrike along with other senior members of the group.

Local sources said Israeli fighter jets bombed sites belonging to Palestinian armed groups, in addition to security and police buildings. In Gaza City’s Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood, a pregnant woman, Reema Telbani and her child were killed by an Israeli attack on their home.

Gaza’s ministry of health said the overall death toll since the latest offensive began stood at 56, including 14 children. More than 300 others have been wounded.

Six Israelis, including one child, have also been killed. The Israeli army said that about 1,500 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards various locations in Israel and they have added reinforcements near the enclave’s eastern lands.

Jewish Israelis attack mosque in Lod

Jewish Israelis attacked the Al-Nour Mosque in the Arab-majority city of Lod.

The Israeli government had declared a state of emergency in Lod, also known as Lydd, where around a third of the population of 77,000 are Palestinian citizens of Israelis.

Israeli forces kick out Kurd siblings from Sheikh Jarrah

Israeli police forces escorted Muna al-Kurd, 22, and her twin brother Muhammad, two residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in occupied East Jerusalem.

In recent months, the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood saw a series of sit-ins by Palestinians to protest against Israeli orders for them to vacate their homes, which they have described as a continuation of the ethnic cleansing that began with the Nakba in 1948.

The Kurd family is among a group of Palestinian families that face eminent expulsion from Sheikh Jarrah.

The siblings have been prominent voices for Sheikh Jarrah on social media and have been speaking out news outlets all over the world.

Half of the al-Kurd family home was taken over by Israeli settlers in 2009. Mohammed previously told Al Jazeera that sharing their home with “squatters with Brooklyn accents” was “insufferable, intolerable [and] terrible”.

Russia: International quartet meeting urgently needed

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the meeting of the international quartet on resolving the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is urgently required to stop the tensions.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, speaking at the same briefing in Moscow after talks with Lavrov, said the UN is totally committed to revitalizing the work of the quartet.

Israeli youth vandalise Palestinian shops in Jaffa

Palestinian citizens of Jaffa reported escalating tensions in Jaffa as Jewish residents targeted the Palestinian community in mixed Palestinian-Jewish city.

Videos shared on social media showed Israeli residents vandalising shops, which Twitter users said belong to Palestinian citizens of Israel.

 

Translation: Terrorist settlers target Palestinian shops in the occupied city of Jaffa. 

Blinken voices concern over rocket attacks on Israel

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the US State Department said.

In the phone call, Blinken expressed his concerns regarding the “barrage of rocket attacks” on Israel, while reiterating his call on all parties to de-escalate tensions.

He emphasized to Netanyahu the need for both Israelis and Palestinians to live in safety and security.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Washington [File: Leah Millis/Reuters]

Gaza rocket kills 6-year-old boy in Israel’s Sderot

The latest barrage of rockets launched from Gaza by Hamas killed a six-year-boy in southern Israel, the United Hatzalah volunteer rescue group said.

“A six-year-old boy was killed when a rocket fired from Gaza struck a residential building in Sderot,” United Hatzalah said, adding that it was treating four other people, including one with “serious” injuries.

Another five people were also wounded.

US airlines cancel flights to Tel Aviv

United Airlines, Delta Air Lines , and American Airlines have canceled flights from the United States to Tel Aviv on Wednesday and Thursday, according to data by flight tracker FlightAware.

Spokespeople for United and Delta confirmed the cancellations and said the airlines were monitoring the situation in Israel.

Delta has “no determination about resumption at this juncture,” a spokesman said.

There were also reports of French airlines cancelling flights to Tel Aviv.

Iran FM meets Palestinian armed groups in Damascus

During his visit to Syria, Iranian Foreign minister Javad Zarif met with a group of Palestinian armed groups, including the General of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, a Palestinian group based in Syria.

The meeting was to show the world Iran’s solidarity with Palestine said Talal Naji, Assistant Secretary General of PFLP.

High-level US engagement to de-escalate tensions

Speaking from the White House, press secretary Jen Psaki said there has been a lot of activity and engagement around the latest developments in Palestine and Israel.

“We’ve had more than 25, high level calls and meetings by senior US officials with senior officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and their partners and other stakeholders including the Qataris, the Tunisians, the Jordanians and the Egyptians who, as you all know, have an important role to play in the region, as we work to move towards de escalation the de escalation.”

“Just yesterday we had more than 10 phone calls by senior Washington based officials including national security adviser Jake Sullivan’s call with his counterpart in the region.

He added that the US will be nominating an ambassador to Israel over the coming weeks.

Hamas says 130 rockets fired at Israel, raid sirens in Tel Aviv

Hamas said it fired 130 rockets at Israel in retaliation for a strike on a multi-story building in Gaza City, as air raid sirens wailed across Israel, including in Tel Aviv.

Hamas said in a statement that its barrage was a response to Israel’s levelling of the Al-Shorouq tower.

Harry Fawcett, reporting from southern Israel, said six or seven Hamas rockets in the latest barrage evaded Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system and landed in Ashkelon, a central coastal city. No injuries were reported.

Al Jazeera journalists and the Israeli army confirmed sirens were sounding in several southern communities and the Tel Aviv area.

Mass pro-Palestinian protests in Jordan

Thousands of Jordanians continued protests on the streets of the Jordanian capital, Amman, in support of Gaza and Jerusalem.

Israel must be taught a ‘lesson’, Erdogan tells Putin

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the international community should “give Israel a strong and deterrent lesson” over its conduct towards the Palestinians.

Erdogan made the comment during a phone call with Putin, Turkey’s Presidential Communications Directorate said, amid escalating violence in occupied East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara [File: Umit Bektas/Reuters]

Gaza death toll rises to 56

The Palestinian ministry of health said that the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli air strikes on Gaza since Monday has risen to 56, including 14 children.

Another 335 people were injured, said the ministry, while three Palestinians were also killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank.

Six in Israel, including an Israeli soldier and one Indian national, were killed by Hamas strikes from Gaza. About 100 Israelis have also been wounded.

Pentagon chief reiterates “ironclad” support to Israel

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin reiterated the United States’ “ironclad support” for Israel in a call with his Israeli counterpart, the Pentagon said.

“Secretary Austin conveyed the Department’s ironclad support for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and its people,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

“(Austin) reiterated the importance of all involved parties to take steps to restore calm,” Kirby added.

Smoke and flames seen rising up after an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza strip [File: Haitham Imad/EPA]

Blinken sends envoy to Mideast

The United States is sending a diplomat to the Middle East to urge Israelis and Palestinians to calm tensions, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, describing scenes in the region as “harrowing.”

“The images that came out overnight are harrowing. And the loss of any civilian life is a tragedy. I have asked Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hady Amr to go to the region immediately to meet with Israelis and Palestinians … he will urge, on my behalf and on behalf of President (Joe) Biden, a de-escalation of violence.”

Israel destroys third Gaza tower

An Israeli air strike destroyed a multi-storey building in Gaza City, Youmna Al Sayed, a journalist reporting from Gaza City, told Al Jazeera.

The 14-storey Shorouq tower in the city was home for lots of media offices in the Gaza Strip and is in a very densely populated area.

It housed the bureau of the Al-Aqsa television channel, is the third tall structure levelled by Israeli fire since the bombing campaign began on Monday.

She said it had been hit by a couple of “warning” missiles, then a full missile strike.

“I can assure you that the aftermath of the destruction of this tower is going to be just terrible,” she said.

She said the Sharouq building has three to four offices of media outlets on each of its 14 storeys, while the ground floor has restaurants and a bank, and the Gaza strip’s only major mall is opposite the tower. She said the building is not used by Hamas fighters.

 

Translation: Shorouq tower in Gaza City completely destroyed. 

“Targeting such a building which holds media offices is a clear message by the Israeli occupation that it does not want any media to tell the truth of what is going on in the Gaza strip: the crazy air raids that are taking place in every moment; the killing and targeting of civilians of residential buildings and apartments; hundreds of Palestinians have been wounded in just two days of escalation,” she said.

“They [Israel] are using their massive power to bring down the civilians of the Gaza Strip to pressure the Palestinian factions.”

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from southern Israel, said the Israelis claim the large buildings they target have been used by Hamas forces.

“And of course it is a huge statement of power to its enemies inside Gaza; that [Israel] has the ability to do these extremely large scale destructions of what have been landmarks in Gaza.”

France: ‘Everything must be done’ to avert Mideast conflict

The international community must do everything possible to avert a new conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, France’s foreign minister said.

“The cycle of violence in Gaza, in Jerusalem, but also in the West Bank and several cities in Israel risks leading to a major escalation,” Jean-Yves Le Drian told parliament.

“Everything must be done to avoid… a conflict” that would be the fourth such deadly confrontation in the last 15 years, he said.

“It is absolutely essential that all actors – without exception – show the greatest restraint and refrain from any provocation and any incitement to hatred to put an end to violence whose victims are chiefly Palestinian and Israeli civilians,” he said.

A Palestinian ambulance evacuates a family in the aftermath of overnight Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City [File: Mohammed Saber/EPA]

‘Broader conflict’ must be averted, says EU

Israelis and Palestinians must immediately halt their violence “to prevent a broader conflict” impacting civilian populations, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell warned.

“The EU is dismayed at the large numbers of civilian deaths and injuries, including children,” he said in a statement. “All efforts should be directed at avoiding civilian casualties, and supporting de-escalation.”

Protests called in West Bank as frustration grows with the PA

Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim, reporting from Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, said protests were set to take place in Ramallah around 9pm local time (18:00 GMT) in support of Palestinians in Gaza and East Jerusalem.

Ibrahim added the protests will also likely express growing anger towards the Palestinian Authority (PA).

The PA is holding its own meeting around 9:30pm local time, focusing on an a diplomatic effort and trying to gain a stronger response from the international community to the recent escalation in violence.

Ibrahim said the mood in the West Bank is “frustrated at the Palestinian Authority. They say they don’t expect the meetings of the Palestinian Authority to take strong steps when it comes to the Israeli violations”.

“There has been a growing feeling among Palestinians that the Palestinian Authority is not being part of the solution, so it might be part of the problem.

PA defends its security cooperation as being part of the Oslo Accords signed with Israel, but many protesters in recent demonstrations have been chanting vociferously against the accords, said Ibrahim.

Palestinians demonstrate in centre of the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank [File: Abbas Momani/AFP]

US blocks statement on Israel from UN Security Council

The UN Security Council held another emergency meeting on the worsening tensions between Israel and Palestinians, again without agreeing on a joint statement due to opposition from the United States, Israel’s key ally, according to diplomats.

The United States saw the Security Council meeting as a sufficient show of concern, one diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“The US doesn’t see that a statement will help de-escalate,” said another.

According to several sources, 14 of the 15 members of the Council were in favor of adopting a joint declaration aimed at reducing tension.

Israel imposes night curfew in Lod

Israel imposed a night curfew over the Arab-majority city of Lod, also known as Lydd.

The Israeli government had declared a state of emergency Lod, where around a third of the population of 77,000 are Palestinian citizens of Israelis.

 

A Palestinian man was shot dead; and a synagogue and dozens of vehicles were set on fire. The mayor likened it to a ‘civil war’.

Israeli security forces in a street in Lod near Tel Aviv [Ahmad Gharabli/AFP]

Israel building up military hardware at Gaza border

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from southern Israel, said Israel has been sending a significant amount of military hardware towards the border with Gaza, with the Israeli defence minister saying that this is a operation without an end date at the moment.

“That doesn’t mean that there is necessarily going to be a ground invasion – certainly there are significant risks as far as Israel is concerned, given how much it has already been able to do from the air,” Fawcett said.

“But we’ve seen a number of tracked vehicles, heavy artillery, and self-propelled howitzers being put into place on the back of flat-bed lorries, which have then been returning empty. So certainly there is preparation for a different phase, or a least a sign of a show of force.”

Israeli soldiers stand atop a tank near the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip [File: Amir Cohen/Reuters]

Israel-Palestine conflict raises alarm in Europe

Tensions in the Middle East have caused alarm in Europe, with leaders weighing in on the deadly conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

From calls for ‘restraint’ to worries about possible war crimes, political leaders and international courts in Europe weigh in on latest escalation.

 


Parallel crisis unfolding in Israel’s mixed towns

Mairav Zonszein, a senior analyst on Israel and Palestine at the International Crisis Group, a think tank, told Al Jazeera that the level of unrest and violence in mixed Israeli-Palestinian cities was “unprecedented”.

“This is a convergence of many different factors. Unfortunately, in some ways the chickens have come home to roost. Israeli policies in mixed Israeli-Palestinian towns has never really been one of co-existence.

“There has been the same discrimination that you see in east Jerusalem happens inside Israel as well – in terms of housing policy discrimination, in rights, in all aspects of life, crime and negligence of the Israeli government – which Palestinian, Arab-Israeli parties have been calling out for years, asking for higher budgets, asking the police to rein in this violence. None of that has been happening, the government has neglected that,” explained Zonszein.

 

“What we are seeing is the result (of this) together with the the convergence of what’s been happening in east Jerusalem and in Gaza.”

“Coexistence has always been an illusion – Israel has a policy of discrimination on all fronts,” she added.

Gaza hospital stretched to breaking point

Director of Al Shifa Hospital, Mohammed Abu Silmiya, told Al Jazeera Arabic that Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip have put pressure on a medical system which was already stretched to the breaking point.

“The situation is more than dire, simply because the Gaza strip has been under a tight siege for the past 14 years, he said, explaining that both the siege and coronavirus pandemic have exhausted Gaza’s health sector.

“Israel’s recent unjust and belligerent aggression has added insult to injury.”

“Our operating rooms have been suffering from a lack of supplies over the past 15 years – medicines are in short supply in the entire Gaza strip. This hospital has been running on the same devices and appliances for the past 20 years,” said Abu Slimiya.

Palestinians  inside a hospital in the northern Gaza Strip after Israeli air raids hit the Strip [Mohamed Abed/AFP]

Russia: Israel should halt settlement activities in Palestine

Sergei Vershinin, a Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, called on Israel to “immediately” stop all settlement activities in the Palestinian Territories, RIA news agency reported.

Vershinin also said that Moscow called for the “status quo of Jerusalem’s sacred sites” to be respected, RIA reported.

A demonstrator holds a banner and Palestinian flag during a protest against Israeli settlements, in Beit Dajan in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [File: Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

China calls for restraint

China’s special envoy on the Middle East, Zhai Jun, expressed “deep concern” over escalating violence between Palestinians and Israelis and urged all parties to exercise restraint to avoid further casualties.

In a meeting with Arab envoys and the chief representative of the Arab League in China, Zhai said Beijing would continue to push the UN Security Council to take action on the situation in East Jerusalem as soon as possible, according to a foreign ministry statement.

The mother of Palestinian Rasheed Abu Arra, who was killed by Israeli forces, mourns her son alongside other women, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

Right-wing Israeli politician calls a future Palestine ‘terror state’

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Naftali Bennett, leader of the right-wing Israeli Yamina party, said that the creation of a Palestinian state would annihilate Israelis.

“It would create a terror state that does not exist yet in Judea and Samaria,” he said in reference to the occupied West Bank.

“It would effectively deem Israel unable to defend itself. We see what they [Palestinians] turned Gaza into. No Israeli is going to give up Judea and Samaria and allow them to create a terror state,” he added.

The former Israeli defence minister went on to call the West Bank “part and parcel of Israel”, adding that Palestinians living there should move to other Arab countries.

“The Arabs have tens of countries to live in,” said Bennet.

Former Israeli Defense Minister Naftali Bennett [File: Atef Safadi/Reuters]

Israeli army identifies soldier killed

The army identified the soldier killed on Wednesday morning as Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib, 21.

The soldier was killed in an anti-tank missile attack near the Gaza Strip, the first military death in three days of fighting with Hamas.

The army said an officer and another soldier were wounded in the attack.

Italy, Germany want de-escalation in Israel, Gaza

Italy and Germany want an immediate end to the violence between Israel and Palestinian militants, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said after talks with his German counterpart.

“We strongly request all the parties to immediately take measures aimed at de-escalation and to exercise the greatest restraint,” De Maio said in a statement.

Mourners react during the funeral of Khalil Awaad and his daughter Nadine, in the village of Dahmash near the Israeli city of Lod [Heidi Levine/AP]

Ex-PLO member calls on international community to act

Hanan Ashrawi, a former leading member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), called on the international community to end Israel’s “unbridled use of violence.”

“You have here an unbridled use of violence by the strongest army in the region targeting innocent civilians, targeting residential buildings in an area that has been totally closed in, besieged without any means of defense, with no air force, no shelters, with no sirens and at the same time the Israelis claim self-defense.”

“This is not new but this escalation is new. It has been emboldened by the Trump administration’s collusion, the Biden administration’s lack of action and the reticence of the Europeans so the question now is do you allow Israel to target Jerusalem, to kick out Palestinians, the [third] highest holy site during Ramadan and to get away with it?”

Israeli airstrike kills Senior Hamas commander

Hamas, the group that rules the Gaza Strip, has confirmed that its Gaza City commander was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Wednesday.

Bassem Issa is the highest-ranking military figure in Hamas to be killed by Israel since a 2014 war in Gaza.

In a statement, the armed wing of Hamas said Issa was killed “along with a few of his fellow brothers of leaders and holy fighters” during the fighting that has been going on for two days in Gaza.

Earlier, Israel’s internal security agency said that a series of Israeli airstrikes had killed Issa and several other senior Hamas leaders.

Issa and several commanders responsible for the different districts of the Gaza Strip form the military council of Hamas, the highest body deciding the group’s operations.

Reporting from southern Israel, Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett said the killing of several top Hamas commanders in air strikes was a “significant blow” and Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has promised more to follow.

People carry the body of Wael Abdulkerim Isa who was killed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza Strip [Hassan Jedi/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli PM threatens to use ‘iron fist if needed’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel will use “an iron fist if needed” to stop protests by its Palestinian citizens.

“We are continuing our efforts to stop the anarchy and restore governance to the cities of Israel, with an iron fist if needed, with all forces needed and all authorities required,” he said, speaking in Acre along Israel’s northern coastline.

Dozens of Palestinians were arrested at protests in other towns and cities within the Green Line, the generally recognised boundary between Israel and the West Bank.

In the central city of Lod, also known as Lydd, a state of emergency was declared for the first time in 66 years. Israeli authorities ordered the redeployment of paramilitary border police companies from the occupied West Bank as reinforcements.

Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel protested in the city after the funeral of Moussa Hassouneh, who was shot dead by a Jewish settler on Monday.

The crowd fought with police and set a synagogue and some 30 vehicles on fire, Israeli media reported.

Hamas fires rockets at Dimona

The armed wing of Hamas, the al-Qassam Brigades, said it has fired at least 15 rockets at the Israeli city of Dimona.

Located in the southern Negev (or Naqab) desert, Dimona is home to a nuclear power plant.

At least 50 rockets were also fired at Ashdod, Hamas said. Photos of smoke rising from Ashdod’s port were published by Israeli media.

Hamas operatives targeted, Israeli army says

The Israeli army and intelligence said they have carried out air strikes that killed senior members of the al-Qassam Brigades in Gaza City and Khan Younis that were close to Hamas’s elusive commander Mohammad Deif.

Deif, whose whereabouts and presence is shrouded in secrecy, has survived five assassination attempts by Israel over the years and is their most wanted man.


Gaza death toll rises to 53

The health ministry in the Gaza Strip said the number of Palestinians killed has now risen to 53, including 14 children and three women.

At least 320 others have been wounded.

Islamic Jihad: We will not back down

The armed wing of the Islamic Jihad group said in a statement it has fired more than 100 rockets early on Wednesday morning towards Tel Aviv and the surrounding areas.

A spokesman for the al-Quds Brigades said three of its commanders were killed by Israeli air raids in the Gaza Strip on Monday, and identified them as Sameh Fahim al-Mamluk, Kamal Taiseer Qureiqe, and Mohammed Yahya Abu Atah.

“We will continue to respond to Israel’s aggressions,” the spokesman said. “We will not back down on our resistance no matter what the price is.”

UK PM Johnson calls for Israel and Palestinians to step back from brink

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday called for Israel and the Palestinians to step back from the brink and for both sides to show restraint.

“The UK is deeply concerned by the growing violence and civilian casualties and we want to see an urgent de-escalation of tensions,” Johnson said on Twitter.

 

Israel promises more attacks before any truce

 

Smoke rises after Israeli air raids on Gaza City on May 12 2012 [Khalil Hamra/AP Photo]

The Israeli defence minister, Benny Gantz, said there is no specific date to end Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip.

“The IDF [Israeli army] will continue to strike and bring complete silence for the long term,” he said, speaking from the southern city of Ashkelon.

“In Gaza, towers are falling, factories are collapsing, tunnels are being wiped out and commanders are being assassinated.”

Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said he expected the fighting to intensify and, when asked about unconfirmed reports that Hamas might seek a ceasefire, said: “I don’t think my commanders are aware, or particularly interested.”

48 Palestinians killed in Gaza

Gaza’s health ministry said the death toll in Gaza has risen to 48, including 14 children and three women.

At least 304 others have been wounded.

A picture taken with a drone shows the remains of a tower building which was destroyed in Israeli air attacks in Gaza City on May 12, 2021 [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

Erdogan, Putin discuss Israel raids

 

Palestinian rescuers evacuate an elderly woman from a building following Israeli air attacks on Gaza City, on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 [Khalil Hamra/AP Photo]

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s Vladimir Putin discussed in a phone call the escalation in the Gaza Strip, Turkey’s presidency said, as Ankara seeks international action against Israel.

Erdogan told Putin the international community needed to “teach a deterrent lesson” to Israel, adding that Ankara was working to mobilise this reaction, according to a statement from his office.

Erdogan also called for work to be done on sending international peacekeepers to the region to help safeguard Palestinians, a proposal Turkey has made since 2018.


Gaza death toll increases to 43 Palestinians killed

The Gaza health ministry said the number of Palestinians killed from Israeli air attacks is now at 43 Palestinians, including 13 children and three women.

At least 290 others have been wounded, Al Jazeera journalist Safwat al-Kahlout said.

“In the last hour, there were two Israeli air strikes,” al-Kahlout said, speaking from Gaza City.

 

Parts of a broken mannequin lie on the ground near a tower building which was hit by Israeli air raids in Gaza City May 12, 2021. [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

“One of them hit the car of a local farmer, according to local witnesses in the northern Gaza Strip. Five farmers were killed in the attack.”

“In a separate attack on Gaza City, there was another Israeli air strike on a car,” he continued. “Eyewitnesses said a woman and her two children were [killed] in the car.”


Hamas says Israeli air raids destroyed all Gaza police buildings

 

Smoke and flames rise during Israeli air raids in the Gaza Strip on May 12, 2021 [Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters]

Israeli air raids in the Gaza Strip have destroyed all police buildings in the coastal territory, according to Gaza’s Hamas-led Interior Ministry.

“Israeli occupation planes launched successive raids that resulted in the destruction of all police headquarters buildings in Gaza City,” Eyad al-Bozom, a ministry spokesman said Wednesday morning.

Dozens of loud explosions were heard in western Gaza.

The Israeli army said it had shelled a building during the night that housed senior members of Hamas’s military intelligence service.

The homes of key Hamas representatives were also attacked, the Israeli military said.


One Israeli soldier killed after Hamas targeted Israeli military vehicle

An Israeli soldier has been killed after a military jeep stationed on the outskirts of the northern Gaza Strip was targeted by the military wing of Hamas.

Earlier, the al-Qassam Brigades said three Israelis were wounded after it targeted the jeep with a Kornet missile.

According to Israeli media, the soldier succumbed to injuries after an anti-tank missile was fired on the jeep.


War crimes court concerned over violence in West Bank: ICC

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has expressed concern about escalating violence in the occupied West Bank and the possibility that war crimes are being committed there, its prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said.

“I note with great concern the escalation of violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as in and around Gaza, and the possible commission of crimes under the Rome Statute,” Bensouda wrote on Twitter.


Is the Palestinian Authority being sidelined?

 

Black smoke billows after a series of Israeli air raids targeted Khan Younis in the southern Gaza strip, early on May 12, 2021 [Youssef Massoud/AFP]

The Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) executive committee are set to meet on Wednesday night in Ramallah to discuss the Israeli escalation in the Gaza Strip.

“We’ve spoken to a PLO executive committee member who told us that the language the international community has been using is not strong enough to curb the Israeli violations,” Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim said, speaking from Ramallah.

Ibrahim said that for many Palestinians, the usual track the PA resorts to in times of escalation of appealing to the international community to condemn Israel is not enough.

“There’s a growing feeling among Palestinians that Israel only understands the language of force, which is why we’ve seen in the protests in the occupied West Bank in the past few days people calling on Gaza [armed groups] to respond,” she said.


Hamas leader says group ‘ready’ for Israeli escalation

Hamas head Ismail Haniya said he had told mediators the problem is not with Gaza but with Israel, adding that the group Hamas is “ready” if Israel increases its attacks.

“If (Israel) wants to escalate, we are ready for it, and if it wants to stop, we’re also ready,” Haniya, who currently lives outside the Strip, said in a televised address.

 

Haniya went on to say that linking Jerusalem with the Gaza Strip is reflective of equating “resistance with identity” and hailed the protests that have broken out among Palestinians within Israel and the occupied territories.

“We are all moving together in a coherent manner in order to confront the occupation,” he said.

Haniya renewed the call for all “our Palestinian people to unite the ranks” and called on the Palestinian Authority to “stop security cooperation” with Israel.


Two Palestinians killed in occupied West Bank

A Palestinian teenager has been shot dead by Israeli forces during a raid on Aqaba village, east of the occupied West Bank town of Tubas.

Rashid Abu Arreh, 16, was killed after Israeli forces raided the village to arrest another Palestinian, Sheikh Mustafa Abu Ara.

Medical sources also said that Hussein al-Titi, 26, was shot dead during protests against the Israeli army in al-Fawwar refugee camp, south of Hebron.

 

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