Israel, Palestinian, Middle East, Gaza

Israel, Palestinian

Gaza teeters on the brink as fighting with Israel escalates

Gaza teeters on the brink as fighting with Israel escalates

13/5/2021 5:40:00 AM

Gaza teeters on the brink as fighting with Israel escalates

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: Screams and flying debris enveloped Umm Majed al-Rayyes as explosions hurled her from her bed in Gaza City. Groping in the ...

housing important Hamas offices and some businesses after the Israeli military fired warning shots, allowing occupants to flee.Fighter jets also targeted without warning multiple residential buildings, located in teeming neighborhoods where Israel alleged militants lived. In all, more than 65 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Monday, including 16 children. Among the dead were both militants and civilians, including at least two women and children who died during the apartment building strikes.

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AdvertisementAdvertisement"WITHOUT ANY WARNING"At a Gaza City hospital, distraught families told of pulling bloodied relatives from piles of rubble. One woman said her 4-year-old grandson and pregnant daughter-in-law were killed when an Israeli air raid hit their two-story building on Wednesday.

“They bombed them without any warning. The house had nothing but the kids,” Umm Mohammad al-Telbani cried in the hospital morgue.The Israeli government long has accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields against retaliatory strikes; militants often launch rockets from civilian areas and set up command centers inside residential buildings. Yet Israel received heavy criticism for its tactic of bombing buildings during the 2014 war with Hamas.

AdvertisementRecalling the horror of past wars, Gaza residents say they feel nowhere is safe. They also cannot leave the narrow territory, one of the world's most densely populated places. It has been under a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade since Hamas seized control in 2007. Along its borders, Gaza is encircled by sensor-studded fences, concrete walls, galvanized steel barriers and the Mediterranean Sea, where Israel restricts boats from Gaza to some 16 nautical miles offshore.

“There is nowhere to run, there is nowhere to hide,” said Zeyad Khattab, a 44-year-old pharmacist in Gaza City, who fled to the family home where he grew up in the central Gaza district of Deir al-Balah with a dozen relatives when bombs pounded his residential high-rise. “That terror is impossible to describe.”

As Hamas and other militant groups fired hundreds of rockets into Israeli cities, including Tel Aviv, killing at least seven Israelis, worries grew that the latest violence could spiral into a protracted conflict. The Hamas barrages sent hundreds of thousands of Israelis running to bomb shelters across the country and hit numerous civilian targets, including a bus and a school in the city of Ashkelon that was empty because authorities had ordered all schools closed.

The people killed by the indiscriminate fire at Israeli population centres included three women and two children, spreading fear on both sides of the border.“There is always this undercurrent of anxiety, but this time is different,” Khattab said. Air strikes shook the walls and windows of his apartment building during the devastating wars of 2008 and 2014, but the building that houses some 400 people collapsed on Wednesday.

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In any other year, Palestinians would be thronging the dusty streets of Gaza City this week ahead of the Eid al-Fitr holiday, one of the biggest and most joyous festivals on the Muslim calendar that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Markets would be hives of activity as shoppers stocked up on new clothes and pastries for feasts. Beachside restaurants would brim with families. Barbershops would be full of men getting fresh haircuts.

Instead, shops stood shuttered and the city's streets were eerily empty. Almost nothing moves on the roads except for ambulances and Hamas security vehicles. Bombs thunder in the distance. Plumes of black smoke billow from stricken buildings. Residents walk by rubble-strewn stores and downed power lines, surveying the latest damage to a city already riddled with scars from intense clashes.

“It’s the same atmosphere of 2014,” Saud Abu Ramadan, a freelance journalist in Gaza City, said, referring to the bloody 7-week war that killed more than 2,000 Palestinians, including hundreds of civilians, and inflicted widespread destruction on Gaza's infrastructure. “Warplanes are buzzing, and people are just trying to keep their heads down."

This week'smayhem stemmed from clashesat the most sensitive place in Jerusalem, the revered plateau site of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the iconic golden Dome of the Rock. Analysts long have considered flaring tensions at the compound, sacred to both Muslims and Jews, to be the most dangerous accelerant to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

READ: Hundreds hurt in new Jerusalem clashes between Israelis, PalestiniansIslamic militant groups seized on the violence at Al-Aqsa as the trigger for their hail of rocket fire into Israel. The salvos at times overwhelmed Israeli missile defenses and brought air raid sirens and explosions echoing across Tel Aviv, Israel’s biggest metropolitan region, and other areas.

On Monday, the first night of the fighting, teenage boys in Gaza City clambered onto rooftops, cars and scaffolding to get a better view of the rockets alighting the sky and streaming toward Israeli cities in quick succession. Some cried out with joy, as if at a wedding. Shouts of “God is great!” erupted from the crowd.

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“People here have been seething,” Adnan Abu Amer, a political scientist at al-Ummah University in Gaza City, said: “They take a pride and happiness in seeing Hamas defend the sanctity of Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem."A man pulls his luggage while passing the rubble of a destroyed building which was hit by Israeli airstrikes, in Gaza City, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. (Photo: AP/Adel Hana)

But with the rush of outrage comes the anguish of knowing the conflict's heavy toll.“There is so much pain, but thank God the children have been through this before and they're strong,” said al-Rayyes, who fled her falling apartment in Gaza City. She corrected herself. “They're pretending to be strong.”

Read more: CNA »

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Gaza militants, Israel trade new rocket fire and airstrikes Palestinian militants launched dozens of rockets from Gaza and Israel unleashed new air strikes against them early Tuesday, in an escalation triggered by soaring tensions in Jerusalem and days of clashes at an iconic mosque in the holy city. Twenty-four people, including nine children, were killed in Gaza overnight, most of them in Israel i strikes. More than 700 Palestinian s were hurt in clashes with Israel i security forces in Jerusalem and across the West Bank in 24 hours, including nearly 500 who were treated at hospitals.

Israel airstrikes kill 20 in Gaza, Palestinians say, after militants fire rockets at Jerusalem

Singapore calls for de-escalation of violence in Israel and GazaSINGAPORE: Singapore on Wednesday (May 12) said it is extremely concerned about the civilian casualties from the escalation of violence in Israel ... Stop the terror, apartheid and ethnic cleansing by Israelis military ans settlers on the Palestinians. Can yall settle your own shit first.... Like the covid situation My challenge to Singapore--end racism here first!

Israeli PM vows to step up Gaza strikes as death toll hits 30 Israel 's Benjamin Netanyahu vowed on Tuesday (May 11) to intensify attacks on Islamist militants in Gaza as the foes traded heavy fire that killed ... Completely misleading headline. Shame on you. La perra israel The long enmity between the 2 dates back even way before even Golan heights. For basic humanity sake, to shoot people and raid mosque before the holy festive of eid is totally uncalled for. Political diversion at its best here

Israel, Hamas escalate heavy fighting with no end in sight Israel stepped up its attacks on the Gaza Strip, flattening a high-rise building used by the Hamas militant group and killing at least three militants in their hideouts on Tuesday as Palestinian rockets rained down almost nonstop on parts of Israel . Israel i Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to expand the offensive, while Gaza militants unleashed a fierce late-night barrage of rockets that set off air-raid sirens and explosions throughout the densely populated Tel Aviv metropolitan area. Just after daybreak Wednesday, Israel unleashed dozens of airstrikes in the course of a few minutes, targeting police and security installations, witnesses said. Send covid....

Dozens dead as Israel and Hamas escalate aerial bombardments GAZA — Hostilities between Israel and Hamas escalated on Tuesday (May 11), raising the death toll in two days to 32 Palestinian s and three people in Israel , with Israel carrying out multiple air strikes in Gaza and the militant group firing rockets at Tel Aviv.