28 Palestinians Killed in Israeli Strikes on Gaza

28 Palestinians Killed in Israeli Strikes on Gaza

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

Health authorities in Gaza said at least 28 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.

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. 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.

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 centers is unacceptable,” Dujarric told reporters.

Iran’s foreign minister 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 the issue of Palestine to the will of the people. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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 video statement. 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 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. Jeremy Corbyn, a British Member of Parliament (MP) former leader of the UK 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. 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.

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. 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.” 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.” 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. 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.

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.
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