Death toll at 35 as Israel bombardment of Gaza escalates: Live

Rocket-warning sirens sound in Tel Aviv as Hamas says it has launched 200 rockets on Israel in response to the strikes on tower building in Gaza.

A Palestinian man walks at the site where a tower building was destroyed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza City [Suhaib Salem/Reuters]
A Palestinian man walks at the site where a tower building was destroyed in Israeli air strikes in Gaza City [Suhaib Salem/Reuters]

The Israeli military has continued its bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip early on Wednesday, targeting several areas after rockets were fired from the enclave.

It is the most intense airstrikes in Gaza since the bombardment in 2014.

Health authorities in Gaza said at least 35 Palestinians – including 10 children – were killed in Israeli air strikes on the Strip since late on Monday, after Hamas launched rockets from the coastal territory towards Israel. At least 233 others were injured.

At least five people in Israel have also been killed.

The rocket fire came after Hamas, which rules Gaza, issued an ultimatum demanding Israel stand down its security forces from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem after days of violence against Palestinians.

Israeli police stormed the compound on Monday for a third consecutive day, firing rubber-coated steel rounds, stun grenades and tear gas at Palestinian worshippers inside the mosque in the final days of the holy month of Ramadan.

More than 700 Palestinians were hurt in Jerusalem and across the occupied West Bank in recent days.

Here are the latest updates:


One Palestinian killed by Israeli army in West Bank: ministry

A Palestinian was killed in clashes with the Israeli army in the south of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian authorities said Wednesday, as violence escalates between Israel and the Palestinian territories.

The unnamed person was killed after being hit by Israeli bullets in Fawwar refugee camp, near the Palestinian town of Hebron, the health ministry reported.

The official Wafa news agency said the victim was 26-year-old Hussein Al-Titi.


Israeli strikes hit Gaza’s interior ministry buildings

The interior ministry reported that several of its offices in Gaza, including the passport office, were hit by heavy Israeli strikes on Wednesday morning.

The interior ministry also confirmed earlier reports by Al Jazeera that all of Gaza’s police stations have been destroyed by the bombardment.

A video, which Al Jazeera posted on social media showed the heavy strikes hitting several buildings in Gaza on Wednesday morning.


Palestinians in Gaza evacuate amid Israeli bombardment

Residents of Gaza have evacuated from their homes amid intense bombardment by Israeli forces of several areas in the Palestinian territory.

The Israeli army has reported hitting several targets across Gaza, including in the southern Khan Younis neighbourhood early on Wednesday.

Palestinians evacuate after their tower building was hit by continuing Israeli air strikes in Gaza early on Wednesday [Mohammed Salem/Reuters]

Israel strikes hit targets in Gaza’s Khan Younis

A video posted on social media by the Safa Press agency showed the aftermath of a series of Israeli strikes on Wednesday morning in Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip.

Israel earlier announced that it has launched its largest bombardment of the Palestinian territory since its operation started on Monday.

There were no immediate reports of additional casualties in the last bombardments.

 


Rocket from Gaza hits Israeli pipleline

A large fire is seen near the scene of what Israeli officials said was a Gaza rocket attack on an Israeli energy pipeline near Ashkelon early on Wednesday [Ilan Rosenberg/Reuters]
Israeli authorities reported on Wednesday that a Gaza rocket attack has hit an Israeli pipeline near Ashkelon causing a large fire.

The Gaza-based Palestinian group, Hamas, has vowed to hit Israeli targets in retaliation against air strikes on Gaza Strip and the police attack on Palestinian worshippers at Al Aqsa Mosque.


Israel hits several police stations in Gaza

Israeli air strikes on Wednesday morning, the heaviest since the operation started on Monday, hit several police stations in the Gaza Strip.

Al Jazeera’s Safwat al Kahlout, reporting from Gaza, said that the main police headquarters in the Palestinian territory was also “completely destroyed.”

Kahlout also reported that the death toll from the Israeli strikes has risen to 36, with 250 others injured.

Al Jazeera has also received reports that houses of senior commanders of Hamas were also hit.

Overnight, tens of families have been left homeless after their homes were also destroyed by Israeli air strikes, Kahlout reported.

A social media post by Omar El Qattaa showed the moment Israeli strikes hit several targets in Gaza.

 


Israel tanks ‘on the move’ heading to border with Gaza

According to social media posts and news reports, the Israeli army has reportedly deployed its tanks to its southern border with the Palestinian territory of Gaza, signaling a new phase in its operation against Palestinians.

Israeli and Palestinian analysts have also confirmed on Wednesday the movement of tanks near the Israeli border.

Dov Waxman, an analysts from the University of California, told Al Jazeera that Israeli forces have been moving their tanks near the border, but it is still unclear if it is preparing for a prolonged operation.

“I don’t think that the Israeli government would want to initiate a major ground incursion,” he said, even as he cautioned that the situation on the ground could go out of control fomenting more violence.


Israel says it ‘neutralised’ key Hamas figures

The Israeli army has announced that its fighter jets have “neutralised key figures of Hamas’ intelligence” in the Gaza strip.

In a social media post early on Wednesday, the army identified the officials as Hassan Kaogi, head of the Hamas military intelligence security department, as well as his deputy, Wail Issa, head of the military intelligence counterespionage department.

“Looks like our intel was better,” the statement said.

There was no immediate confirmation from Hamas regarding the claim.


Activists, analysts urge Biden to ‘hold Israel to account’

Phyllis Bennis, an analyst at the US-based Institute for Policy Studies, said that “as long as the US is not prepared to hold Israel to account”, any statements from the Biden administration about the ongoing violence would not lead to a de-escalation.

“We keep hearing from President Biden that he wants a foreign policy that’s based on human rights. What we are not seeing is any actual commitment to human rights – and certainly in this case, there’s no willingness to use political capital,” Bennis told Al Jazeera in an interview.

Yara Asi, a non-resident fellow at Arab Center Washington, DC and a post-doctoral scholar at the University of Central Florida, also said that when the US funnels $3.8bn in military aid to Israel annually and provides diplomatic and political cover to the Israeli government in international arenas such as the United Nations, it is “disingenuous” for Washington to try to be disengaged.

“There is no more intimate external actor outside of Israelis and Palestinians than the United States, and this has been the case for decades – and it is continuing,” she told Al Jazeera.


Rocket launched from Gaza kills two in Lod

At least two more people were reported killed in the Israeli city of Lod, also known as al-Lydd, after a rocket fired from Gaza hit the area.

That brings to five the number of people killed in Israel due to rockets fired from Gaza.

Some news reports identified the latest fatalities as an Israeli woman and her seven-year-old son. Other reports said the two were of Israelis of Arab descent.


Unrests erupt within Israel in support of Palestinians

Unrests have erupted across Israel on Tuesday night and into Wednesday in support of Palestinian rights.

Social media posts showed fiery protests in Rahat, a predominantly Bedouin city in southern Israel as well as in Qalansawe, an Israeli Arab town in central Israel.

Earleir, the Israeli government declared a state of emergency in Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv also known in Arabic as al-Lydd, amid escalating violence following the killing of a Palestinian citizen by a Jewish Israeli in the city.

 


Pregnant Palestinian woman, 5-year-old son killed in latest Israeli strike

A woman, who is four months pregnant, and her five-year-old son, were reported killed following the latest Israeli air strike on their house in Tel al-Hawa, a neighbourhood in the southern part of Gaza.

The deaths of the woman, identified only as Reem, and her son, Zaid, was reported on social media by her brother, Ahmed Saad.

At least 35 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza in the latest strikes, which Israel said were in response to rockets fired by Hamas into Israeli.

 


At least three reported killed after Gaza building collapses

At least three Palestinians have been reported killed after a residential building was targeted by Israeli strike in Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood in Gaza City, raising to 35 the number of people killed in the Palestinian territory.

Israeli warplanes also targeted at least four times the al-Johara building in Gaza City, which houses several media organisations.

Initial reports said that Al Jazeera’s office, located adjacent to the al-Johara building also suffered some damage.


Hamas says fired more than 200 rockets into Israel

Hamas says it has fired more than 200 rockets into Israel.

The al-Qassam Brigades – Hamas armed branch – said in a statement that it was “in the process of firing 110 rockets towards the city of Tel Aviv”, and 100 rockets towards the town of Beersheva, “as reprisal for the restarting of strikes against civilian homes”.


Blinken reiterates call for de-escalation of violence

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reiterated US calls for a de-escalation of violence in a discussion with Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

Blinken “reiterated his call on all parties to deescalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence, which has claimed the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including children,” the State Department said in a statement.


Situation ‘has to be dealt with as a question of colonialism’: Expert

Phyllis Bennis, an analyst at the US-based Institute for Policy Studies, told Al Jazeera that “as long as the United States is not prepared to hold Israel to account”, statements from the Biden administration would not lead to de-escalation.

“We keep hearing from President Biden that he wants a foreign policy that’s based on human rights. What we are not seeing is any actual commitment to human rights – and certainly in this case, there’s no willingness to use political capital.”


US official conveys Biden’s ‘unwavering support for Israel’s security’

In a call with his Israeli counterpart, Jake Sullivan, US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser, conveyed Biden’s “unwavering support for Israel’s security” amid the recent escalation.

“He also conveyed the United States’ encouragement of steps toward restoring a sustainable calm,” National Security Council Spokeswoman Emily Horne said in a statement.

Sullivan also spoke to the Egyptian government about the situation in Gaza and Jerusalem, the statement said. “They discussed steps to restore calm over the coming days and agreed to stay in close touch.”


Israel declares state of emergency in Lod

The Israeli government has declared a state of emergency in Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv also known in Arabic as al-Lydd, amid escalating violence following the killing of a Palestinian citizen of Israel by a Jewish Israeli in the city.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the situation with top government officials, including his defence and public security ministers, and “directed that lawbreakers be dealt with severely”, the Israeli government press office said in a statement.

Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett, reporting from southern Israel, said “things have really erupted” in the city over the past few hours.

“The sparks of violence that have been flickering for this whole month of Ramadan … those sparks have really, literally caught flame, and that fire is spreading,” he said. “These are very dangerous days.”

 


1,000 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces in East Jerusalem between May 7 and 10

The United Nations’ humanitarian affairs office in the occupied Palestinian territories (UN-OCHA) says Israeli forces have injured 1,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem between May 7 and May 10.

The agency said “735 of these [injuries were] due to rubber bullets”.

“On 10 May, 657 Palestinians were injured, mostly in the upper bodies, with at least one Palestinian losing his eye,” it said in a statement.

Palestinians evacuate a wounded protester at the Lions Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City on May 10 [Oded Balilty/AP Photo]

Situation ‘escalating towards a full scale war’: UN envoy

“Stop the fire immediately,” UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland tweeted.


US delays UN Security Council statement on escalating tensions: Reuters

The US is delaying attempts by the UN Security Council to issue a public statement on tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, diplomats and a source familiar with Washington’s strategy told Reuters.

The source told the news agency that the US is “actively engaged in diplomacy behind the scenes with all parties to achieve a ceasefire” and was concerned that a UNSC statement might be counterproductive.

The Security Council is expected to meet privately on Wednesday.


Israel sending border police to city of Lod

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said border police officers would be redeployed from the occupied West Bank to the city of Lod, about 15km southeast of Tel Aviv, amid recent protests and deadly violence.

Earlier in the day, thousands of people took part in funeral processions for 33-year-old Musa Hassuna, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who was shot dead on Monday by a Jewish Israeli.


Palestinian families displaced after Gaza building destroyed: Correspondent

Al Jazeera’s Safwat al-Kahlout, reporting from Gaza, said there are fears that violence will escalate further in the coming hours.

“Families now are in the street,” al-Kahlout said, after a 13-storey building was destroyed in an Israeli air strike.

He added that many Palestinians in Gaza are frustrated and worried that renewed violence will worsen an already dire humanitarian crisis in the territory.


Hamas chief says group ‘ready’ if Israel seeks escalation

The head of Hamas said the group was “ready” if Israel escalates violence.

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


UN chief demands halt to Israeli-Gaza escalation

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is demanding an immediate halt to the “spiraling escalation” in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Guterres “is gravely concerned” by the upsurge in violence, UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, and “is deeply saddened to learn of increasingly large numbers of casualties, including children, from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, and of Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza.

“Israeli security forces must exercise maximum restraint and calibrate their use of force.” He also added that “the indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars towards Israeli population centers is unacceptable”.

He said when asked whether Guterres had been in contact with key players that “contacts are continuing to be held at all levels with all interested parties in an effort to de-escalate the situation”.


Netanyahu says Gaza groups will pay ‘very heavy price’ over rocket fire

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said has said that Hamas and the Islamic Jihad will “pay a very heavy price,” after a day of Gaza rocket fire and Israeli air strikes on the Palestinian coastal enclave.

“We are at the height of a weighty campaign,” Netanyahu said in televised remarks alongside his defence minister and military chief.

“Hamas and Islamic Jihad paid … and will pay a very heavy price for their belligerence … their blood is forfeit.”


African Union head condemns Israeli ‘bombardments’ in Gaza

The chairman of the African Union Commission has condemned Israeli “bombardments” in the Gaza Strip as well as “violent attacks” by Israeli security forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem.

Chadian Moussa Faki Mahamat “reiterates that the Israeli army’s actions, including the continued forced, illegal evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem, are in stark violation of international law and further heighten tensions in the region,” the AU said in a statement.

The AU has long expressed support for “the Palestinian people in their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign State” with East Jerusalem as its capital, the statement read.

Faki had used the 2020 summit to denounce then-US President Donald Trump’s peace plan for the Middle East, saying it “trampled on the rights of the Palestinian people”, drawing applause in the main hall at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa.


Israeli energy pipeline hit in Gaza rocket attack, sources say

A pipeline belonging to an Israeli state-owned energy company was hit in a rocket attack from Gaza late on Tuesday, an Israeli government official and an energy sector official told Reuters news agency.

Video broadcast by Channel 12 showed flames rising from what appeared to be a large fuel vat near the Israeli Mediterranean city of Ashkelon, south of Tel Aviv.

Operations at a power plant in Ashkelon were not interrupted, Channel 13 TV said.


Liverpool’s Mo Salah calls on world leaders to act, stop Palestine violence

Liverpool footballer Mohamed Salah has called on world leaders to “do everything in their power” to end the killing of innocent people, in what appeared to be a reference to rising tension in Palestine where at least 28 people, including children, have been killed by Israeli attacks.

Salah’s appeal came as the Israeli military continued its bombardment of the besieged Gaza Strip on Tuesday, targeting several areas after rockets were fired from the enclave.

Read more here.


Arab foreign ministers urge ICC probe into Israel war crimes

Arab foreign ministers have urged the International Criminal Court to proceed with an investigation into Israel’s possible war crimes and crimes against humanity against the Palestinians, including the planned forced expulsion of Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in east Jerusalem.

The ministers met virtually on Tuesday to discuss the latest escalation of violence in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the Gaza Strip. In a statement after the meeting, they called for the ICC to mobilise resources for such an investigation.

They strongly condemned what they call Israel’s crimes against Muslim worshippers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the latest court orders to evict families of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

The ministers urged the UN Security Council to take action in order to stop the “Israeli aggression” and provide “international protection” to the Palestinian people.


One killed in rocket attack on Tel Aviv, say medics

Israeli medics confirmed the death of a 50-year-old woman from rocket attacks near Tel Aviv.

Several people were also reported injured.


Israel’s airport authority closes Ben Gurion Airport

Israel’s airport authority closed the country’s main international airport which is located just next to Tel Aviv after rocket attacks from Gaza hit the city.


German foreign minister condemns rocket attack on Israel

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas condemned rocket attacks on Israel, saying they must end immediately after Hamas said it fired more than 130 rockets towards Tel Aviv in response to an Israeli air strike on Gaza.

“The rocket attack on Israel is absolutely unacceptable and must end immediately. Israel has in this situation the right to self-defence. This escalation of violence can be neither tolerated nor accepted,” Maas tweeted.


US deeply concerned by escalating violence

US State Department spokesman Ned Price has called for calm in Israel-Palestine saying: “We are deeply concerned about the escalation between Israel and those launching rockets from Gaza and we call for restraint and for calm.”

“Israel has a right to defend itself and to respond to rocket attacks. The Palestinian people also have the right to safety and security, just as Israelis do,” said Price.

“We are deeply concerned about the reported loss of life in Gaza, in Israel, including the deaths of children as well as many innocent civilians injured,” he added.

Smoke billows from an Israeli air strike on the Hanadi compound in Gaza City [Mohammed Abed/AFP]

Hamas says launched 130 rockets towards Tel Aviv

Hamas said they launched 130 rockets towards the Israeli city of Tel Aviv in retaliation for an air strike that levelled a 12-storey building in Gaza.

Hamas’s armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades, had warned it would retaliate over the strike on the tower near Gaza’s coast, before confirming it had launched an attack on “Tel Aviv and its suburbs with 130 missiles”.


Rocket-warning sirens sound in Tel Aviv

Rocket-warning sirens sounded in Tel Aviv and explosions were heard, said the Israeli military.

The al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian group Hamas, said it launched dozens of rockets towards Tel Aviv.

The group had threatened to strike Tel Aviv if Israel continues to target residential buildings in Gaza.


Jordanians protest against Israeli actions in Amman

Jordanians continued carrying out protests near the Israeli embassy in the capital, Amman, denouncing what they call continuing violations of the rights of Jerusalemites in Jerusalem, including at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

More than one thousand protesters chanted anti-Israel slogans and called for the Jordanian government to end all diplomatic ties with Israel, including expelling the Israeli ambassador, closing the embassy and annulling the country’s peace treaty with them.

Demonstrators also denounced the government’s performance towards what is happening in Jerusalem and demanded real action against Israel, saying that condemnation statements will not help the Palestinians.


Instagram, Twitter blame glitch for deleted Sheikh Jarrah posts

Instagram and Twitter have blamed technical errors for deleting posts mentioning the possible forced expulsion of Palestinians from East Jerusalem, but data rights groups fear “discriminatory” algorithms are at work and want greater transparency.

Palestinians living in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah – an area claimed illegally by Jewish settlers – have taken to social media to protest as they face expulsion, but some found their posts, photos or videos removed or their accounts blocked from last week.

Read more here.


Arab League condemns Israeli air strikes on Gaza

The head of the Arab League has condemned deadly Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip as “indiscriminate and irresponsible” and said Israel had provoked an earlier increase in violence by its actions in Jerusalem.

“Israeli violations in Jerusalem, and the government’s tolerance of Jewish extremists hostile to Palestinians and Arabs, is what led to the ignition of the situation in this dangerous way,” Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said in a statement.

Read more here.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit [File: Ramzi Boudina/Reuters]

Residential tower in Gaza collapses after Israeli strike

A 13-storey residential tower in western Gaza City collapsed after Israeli air strikes targeted the building.

There were no reports of casualties among the residents, who reportedly vacated the Hanadi tower before it was hit.

Video footage showed three plumes of thick smoke rising from the tower, its upper storeys still intact until it collapsed to the ground. The tower houses an office that is used by the political leadership of Gaza’s rulers Hamas.

Electricity in the area around the building went out after the collapse. Residents were using flashlights to search for personal belongings nearby.

Smoke billows from an Israeli air strike on the Hanadi compound in Gaza City [Mohammed Abed/AFP]

Red Cross urges all sides to step back

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called on all sides in the conflict between Israel and Hamas-run Gaza to de-escalate the violence that has killed at least 30 people and reminded them of the rules of war.

The ICRC regional director for the Middle East, Fabrizio Carboni, said in a statement sent to Reuters that international humanitarian law prohibits indiscriminate attacks against civilians, any attack must be proportionate, and all necessary precautions must be taken to avoid civilian casualties.

He called for “rapid, safe and unimpeded movement for ambulances” and for staff and volunteers of both the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the Magen David Adom Society in Israel.

A Palestinian searches for survivors under the rubble of a destroyed rooftop of a residential building which was hit by Israeli missile strikes, at the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City [Khalil Hamra/AP]

Iran’s Khamenei urges Palestinians to build up power

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei called on Palestinians to build up their fighting power to stop Israel’s “brutality”, saying Israelis “only understand the language of force”, Iran’s state TV reported.

“Zionists understand nothing but the language of force, so the Palestinians must increase their power and resistance to force the criminals to surrender and stop their brutal acts,” Khamenei said.

Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei during a televised speech in Tehran [File: Reuters]

Al-Qassam threatens to strike Tel Aviv

The al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, threatened to strike Tel Aviv if Israel continued to target residential buildings in Gaza.

“If the enemy persists in bombing civilian towers, then Tel Aviv will be on time with a more severe missile strike than what happened in Ashkelon,” said group spokesman Abu Ubaida in a tweet.


Footballers express support for Palestinians

Footballers around the world expressed support for Palestinians in recent days, including on social media.

“The world needs peace and love. It will soon be Eid, let us all love one another #PrayForPalestine,” Manchester United’s Paul Pogba wrote on a photo on Instagram, referring to the Eid al-Fitr holiday this week marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Algerian striker Riyad Mahrez, who plays for Manchester City, tweeted a picture of the Palestinian flag with the hashtag #SaveSheikhJarrah. The post has been retweeted more than 50,000 times.

Former Mali and Tottenham forward Frederic Kanoute wrote on Twitter, “apartheid continues and Palestinians are being expelled from their homes while most ‘leaders’ are complicit with their silence at best and their direct support at worst”.


Palestinian solidarity march in Lebanon

Palestinians, Lebanese and other activists in Lebanon’s capital city, Beirut, marched in solidarity with Palestinians.

Dozens of people took part in the march which started in Mar Elias refugee camp in the southwest of city, to Shatila, another Palestinian refugee camp set in southern Beirut.


UN working to de-escalate tensions

The United Nations is urgently working to de-escalate tensions between Israel and the Palestinians,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Dujarric added that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres was saddened by “the increasingly large numbers of casualties, including children, from Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, and of Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza”.

“Israeli security forces must exercise maximum restraint and calibrate their use of force. The indiscriminate launching rockets and mortars towards Israeli population centres is unacceptable,” Dujarric told reporters.

Israeli police walk near the Dome of the Rock at a compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary [File: Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Iran’s FM condemns ‘racist, criminal’ Israel

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif condemned in a statement over Twitter “the attack on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the killing of worshippers”.

“This [the attack] was the clearest evidence of the racist and criminal nature of this occupying entity [Israel] which has been the main cause of instability and insecurity in the region,” said Zarif.

“The Palestinian cause has always been a central issue for the Muslim world. And unity is the most important weapon in the fight for Jerusalem,” said Zarif.

He added that the only solution to the conflict, was to refer the issue of Palestine to the will of the people.


Egypt FM says efforts to reach out to Israel failed

Egypt’s top diplomat told an emergency Arab League meeting that although it had reached out to Israel to calm tensions in Jerusalem, it was met with indifference.

“In the last few days, Egypt extensively reached out to Israel and other concerned countries urging them to exert all possible efforts to prevent the deterioration of the situation in Jerusalem,” said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

“But we did not get the necessary response,” he told the meeting of the Arab League via videoconference.

While not specifying the other countries Egypt contacted, he condemned “Israeli violations at the walls of Al-Aqsa Mosque which crossed over into Sheikh Jarrah” in East Jerusalem.

Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit also lambasted Israeli violence directed towards Palestinians in east Jerusalem in the meeting’s opening remarks.

Ahmed Abul Gheit, chairing an urgent virtual foreign ministers’ meeting on the situation in Jerusalem [Arab League/AFP]

‘Constant rocket fire’ continues over southern Israel

Reporting from southern Israel, about 5km north of the border fence separating the Israeli territory from Gaza, Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett said rocket fire was continuous.

“Throughout the afternoon there has been constant rocket fire coming over [from Gaza].

“There was this barrage that came from the Gaza Strip earlier in the day with Hamas saying it was their biggest ever – nearly 140 rockets in five minutes,” said Fawcett, adding that Israel has neither confirmed nor denied these attacks.

“Whatever it was, it was enough to get through the Israeli air defences, the Iron Dome system,” he explained.

“We have also been hearing Israeli military jets going the other way – very frequent interceptions,” said Fawcett.

Israeli rescuers gather at a residential neighbourhood in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon after rockets were fired by the Hamas movement from the Gaza Strip overnight [Jack Guez/AFP]

‘Streets of Gaza almost empty’

Reporting from the Gaza Strip after Israeli strikes killed 28 people, including 10 children, Al Jazeera’s Safwat al-Kahlout, said the situation in the besieged coastal enclave was tense.

“The streets of Gaza are almost empty. People are staying home because of the intensive air strikes that Israel is carrying out,” said Kahlout.

“At this time of Ramadan, markets and the streets are usually overcrowded,” he added.

“We have been seeing the exchange of fire between the Israelis and the Palestinian armed groups. The last one was just a few seconds before we went on air,” he explained.

 

Smoke billows from Israeli air strikes in Gaza City [Anas Baba/AFP]

PA receives letter from Biden administration: Palestinian media

President of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Mahmoud Abbas has received a letter from US President Joe Biden, reported Palestinian news agency, Wafa.

The letter discussed the latest escalations in Jerusalem and along the Israeli-Gaza border, according to the agency.

Speaking from Washington, DC, Al Jazeera’s Kimberly Halkett said that there was no confirmation of a letter being sent from the Biden administration to the PA.

She added, however, that US President Biden was facing increasing pressure to get involved in resolving the tensions between Palestine and Israel.

People inspect rubble of a destroyed building after Israeli warplanes launched air strikes over the Gaza Strip [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency]

Thousands in Lod mourn killing of Palestinian

Thousands of people took part in funeral processions for 33-year-old Musa Hassuna, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who was shot dead on Monday by a Jewish Israeli in Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv.

The gunman behind the shooting has reportedly been arrested.


Gaza death toll reaches 28, says health ministry

The death toll caused by Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip has reached 28, said the Palestinian ministry of health in Gaza.

The victims included 10 children and one woman, said the ministry.

At least 152 people were also injured in the raids, it added.

Palestinian mourners carry the bodies of Ameera Soboh and her son, Abed Soboh, during their funeral in the aftermath of Israel’s overnight air strike on Gaza City [Mohammed Saber/EPA]

‘A horrible moment’: Gaza resident on Israeli strikes

Gaza resident Mahmoud Ahmed, 21, recounted events from Israel’s air strikes on Gaza which killed 26 people, including nine children.

“I suddenly heard the neighbors knocking on the door. Each one was telling the other to flee. It was a horrible moment,” Ahmed told Al Jazeera’s Hana Salah.

“Tens of families rushed into the street before Israeli war planes destroyed their homes. We avoided a potential massacre,” Ahmed told Al Jazeera.

“People are still staying outside of their homes, because we don’t know when they will be targeted again,” he added.

A man holding his child runs away after Israeli warplanes launched airstrikes over the Gaza Strip [Ali Jadallah/ Anadolu Agency]

Israeli strikes hit Gaza, again

At least 14 strikes hit various areas of the Gaza Strip, reported Al Jazeera Arabic’s correspondent in Gaza.

Footage from the Strip showed plumes of smoke rising through the skies.

No casualties were so far reported.


Netanyahu says Israel stepping up Gaza strikes

Israel will step up its Gaza strikes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after Palestinian rocket launches killed two women in a southern city.

“At the conclusion of a situational assessment, it was decided that both the might of the attacks and the frequency of the attacks will be increased,” he said in a video statement.


Death toll rises to 26, Gaza health ministry says

Ashraf al-Qudra, spokesperson for Gaza’s healthy ministry, said the death toll from Israeli raids since Monday night has risen to 26.

Nine of those who lost their lives were children, al-Qudra said.

At least 122 people others were wounded, he added.


Two Israelis killed in Hamas rocket fire: Haaretz

Two Israelis have been killed after rocket fire from Gaza hit Ashkelon, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The victims were two women, one aged in her 40s, the other in her mid-60s, the Magen David Adom emergency service told AFP, while the city’s Barzilai Medical Center said it was treating 70 people.

Reporting from southern Israel, Al Jazeera’s Harry Fawcett said that Ashkelon has been the target of rockets from Gaza.

“Serious damage was done to several buildings, including a school in Ashkelon,” he said.


British MPs condemn Israeli attacks on Gaza, Al-Aqsa

Jeremy Corbyn, a British Member of Parliament (MP) and former leader of the opposition Labour Party, said: “Deliberately provocative attacks on the Al-Aqsa mosque and the ongoing home invasions #SheikhJarrah have led to horrendous violence in Jerusalem.”

Israel should “rectify the current situation and not exacerbate it,” he said in a Twitter post.

Zarah Sultana, another Labour MP, said Israel’s “brutal attacks must be condemned”.

“Tonight, seeing footage of Israeli airstrikes kill men, women and children in Gaza, I send my solidarity, my love and my prayers to the Palestinian people,” she wrote on Monday night.


Palestinians in Gaza mourn killing of loved ones

Hundreds of Palestinians in Gaza gathered to mourn some of those who were killed in overnight Israeli raids.

Funeral processions took place for 57-year-old Amira Abdel Fattah Subuh, and her son, 17-year-old Abdulrahman, who were killed when their home was struck in the al-Shati refugee camp on the edge of Gaza City.

“I bid farewell to the most precious person in my heart, my mother, and I ask God to have mercy on her,” Subuh’s son told Maan news agency.

Meanwhile, in northern Gaza, thousands gathered to mourn eight others, including a Hamas military commander, who died overnight as a result of Israeli air strikes.

Palestinian mourners carry the bodies of Ameera Subuh and her son during their funeral procession in the aftermath of Israel’s overnight air strike, in al-Shati refugee camp in the west of Gaza City [Mohammed Saber/EPA]

Hamas launches over ’70 rockets in less than 30 minutes’

Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim, reporting from the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, said Hamas’s armed wing fired their “largest barrage” yet from the enclave towards Israel.

“That’s more than 70 rockets in less than 30 minutes,” Ibrahim said, according to a statement released by Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.

In total, more than 300 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip towards Israel since Monday.

The al-Qassam Brigades earlier said Israel crossed “all red lines” in Al-Aqsa, and that it is its duty to respond.


Jordanian FM says maintaining peace and stability is ‘key’

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said maintaining peace and stability in Jerusalem is “key”.

“Our focus right now on ensuring that the escalation stops, and for that to happen we do believe that all illegal and provocative measures … must stop,” he said, referring to Israel’s actions in Sheikh Jarrah and in the Al-Aqsa mosque.

“The status quo needs to be preserved, and the rights of the Palestinians need to be respected.”


Netanyahu ‘ready to do’ anything to stay in power: Knesset member

Sami Abu Shehadeh, Palestinian Knesset member and leader of the Balad party, said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allowed for an “escalation” in a bid to remain in power.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, he said: “In order to survive this political crisis he finds himself in now, and in order for him not to lose control and not to lose his seat as prime minister … he is ready to do anything.

“All the escalation we are seeing now has a clear political target from Netanyahu’s point of view, and he is ready to do anything to keep himself in power including this massacre that we are going to see in Gaza,” Shehadeh said.

“What is happening here is a clear political decision that Netanyahu is responsible for to keep power.”


Thousands of Israeli soldiers ordered to mobilise

The Israeli army said in a statement Defense Minister Benny Gantz called in troop reinforcements near the fence with Gaza.

Gantz ordered the mobilisation of 5,000 Israeli soldiers to “deepen home front defense,” the statement said.


Two killed in fresh Israeli raid on Gaza

At least two people have been killed in an Israeli air strike that struck a residential building in Gaza City’s Rimal neighbourhood, Maan news agency said, bringing the total number of deaths to 26.

The two killed were identified as Islamic Jihad commanders. A third commander was severely injured, according to Maan.

At least five other civilians suffered wounds and were being transported to hospital.

A medic treats a wounded boy following an explosion in the town of Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip [Mohammed Ali/AP Photo]

Israeli forces used ‘unwarranted, excessive force’: Amnesty

Rights group Amnesty International said that Israeli forces have used “unwarranted and excessive force” against Palestinian protesters in East Jerusalem.

In a statement, the UK-based rights group said: “Israeli forces have repeatedly deployed disproportionate and unlawful force to disperse protesters during violent raids on al-Aqsa mosque and have carried out unprovoked attacks on peaceful demonstrators in Sheikh Jarrah.

“Israel must not be allowed to continue its rampage against Palestinians who are simply defending their right to exist and protesting against their forced displacement,” the group’s Middle East Deputy Director, Saleh Higazi, said.


Arab League chief condemns Israeli air strikes on Gaza

Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip were “indiscriminate and irresponsible,” Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said.

He said that Israel was responsible for a “dangerous escalation” in Jerusalem, and called on the international community to act immediately to stop the violence.


Tense calm in East Jerusalem’s Old City

Despite signs of relative calm in the Old City, the Palestinian Red Crescent said at least 520 Palestinians have been wounded since Monday, including more than 200 who are hospitalised – five of whom are in a critical condition.

Siraj, a 24-year-old Palestinian man, suffered a spleen injury being hit by a rubber-coated steel bullet a day earlier.

He sat in a wheelchair with his two legs bandaged at East Jerusalem’s crowded Makassed Hospital.

“They shot everyone, young and old people,” he told Al Jazeera, referring to Israeli police.

The hospital’s director, Adnan Farhoud, said most of those wounded suffered injuries to the head, chest and limbs.


Israel trying to ‘redeem its humiliation’ in Jerusalem by striking Gaza

Ali Abunimah, an author and the co-founder of the Electronic Intifada website, called out Israel’s actions in the occupied Palestinian territories.

Speaking to Al Jazeera from Amman, he said: “It’s horrific to see Israel once again deciding to try to redeem its humiliation in Jerusalem by killing Palestinians, particularly children … in Gaza due to Israeli attacks targeting residential homes among many other sites.

“What happened yesterday in Jerusalem was Israel suffered a humiliating defeat when Palestinian popular resistance, without the support of any governments, without the support of the Palestinian Authority … defeated Israel, forced them to cancel the settler march, and is continuing to resist the ethnic cleansing in Sheikh Jarrah,” Abunimah said.

A Palestinian searches for survivors under the rubble of a destroyed rooftop of a residential building which was hit by Israeli missile strikes, at the al-Shati refugee camp in Gaza City [Khalil Hamra/AP Photo]
“What Hamas and the other resistance factions were trying to say to Israel is ‘Do not think you can attack Jerusalem and attack Palestinians in the West Bank and count on the resistance not to respond to you’.

“So that was a major strategic miscalculation by Israel because they thought that we can do as we please because we’ve divided the Palestinian people – there are little bits of them in the West Bank, little bits of them in Gaza,” he added.


Gaza health ministry announces new deaths

Health authorities in Gaza said three people died overnight, including an elderly woman and a man with special needs, taking the total number of those killed in Israeli raids to 24.

At least 103 people were wounded, it added.


Israel launches more air raids on Gaza

The Israeli army unleashed new air strikes on Gaza and said it struck “130 targets” there since last night “in response” to rockets fired from the Strip.

Hamas said it launched dozens of rockets from Gaza after it earlier warned Israel to stop the violence against Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

In a statement issued early Tuesday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the rocket attacks would continue until Israel stops “all scenes of terrorism and aggression in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa Mosque”.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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