At least 56 martyred including children as Israel intensifies relentless air strikes in Gaza
The death toll from Israeli airstrikes has soared to 56 including 14 children besides increasing the number of injured Palestinians up to 320 in Gaza.
The relentless airstrikes started by Israel late on Monday have wounded at least 320 Palestinians in the territory, Gaza’s Health Ministry said on Wednesday.
A pregnant woman, Reema Telbani and her child were killed by an Israeli attack on their home in Gaza City’s Tel al-Hawa neighbourhood, according to Al-Jazeera.
On the other hand, the Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz threatened to carry out more attacks on Gaza before considering a ceasefire, TRT World reported.
“The army will continue to attack to bring a total, long-term quiet. Only when we reach that goal will we be able to speak about a truce,” Gantz said.
In the latest offence, Israeli fighter jets have destroyed a 14-storey building that housed businesses as well as media offices in Gaza City after dropping two bombs.
— Reuters (@Reuters) May 12, 2021
The building was located in the old Roman neighbourhood, on the busiest shopping street in Gaza. It is the third multi-storey building destroyed by the Israeli fighters jets during the last 14 hours of aggression against Palestinians.
Israeli warplanes also shelled a building near the headquarters of the Committee for the Reconstruction of Gaza. No one was killed or injured in the attack. Meanwhile, the coast of northern Gaza was shelled by Israeli boats.
This is the heaviest offensive between Israel and Hamas since a 2014 war in Gaza and has prompted international concern that the situation could spiral out of control.
At least six people have died in Israel since the start of Israeli military action on Gaza. One them a soldier hit by a missile fired from Gaza.
Gazans’ homes shook and the sky lit up from Israeli attacks, outgoing rockets and Israeli air defence missiles intercepting them. At least 30 explosions were heard within a matter of minutes just after dawn on Wednesday.
UN Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland tweeted: “Stop the fire immediately. We’re escalating towards a full-scale war. Leaders on all sides have to take the responsibility of de-escalation.
“The cost of war in Gaza is devastating & is being paid by ordinary people. UN is working with all sides to restore calm. Stop the violence now,” he wrote.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 – a move that has never been recognised by the international community.
Israel’s attacks on Gaza follow weeks of violence against Palestinians amid spiking tensions in Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.
The Israeli police deployed heavy-handed tactics against Palestinian worshippers in and around Al Aqsa Mosque in the last week, on the compound revered by Jews as Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
Another flashpoint in recent days has been a court case that could end with Palestinian families evicted from occupied East Jerusalem homes in Sheikh Jarrah claimed by Jewish settlers.
If the court rules for the settlers, Palestinians living in the neighbourhood would be displaced for a second time, the first when they were moved into Sheikh Jarrah as refugees by Jordan in the 1950s.
Palestinians protesting in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces.