Israeli troops gathered on the Gaza border on Thursday and militants from the Islamic group Hamas continued rocket attacks against Israel, in conflicts that concern the international community and intensify hostilities between Jews and the Arab minority in several cities from the country.
In total, at least 90 people have died since Monday (10) – 83 in Gaza, including 17 children, according to the local health ministry, and 7 in Israel, according to Israeli medical authorities – and more than 500 have been injured. .
“We are in an emergency situation, and now it is necessary to massively reinforce the forces on the ground,” Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said when announcing the call to reserve officials. military to strengthen security and the deployment of troops that would normally be located. at the border with the West Bank for the Gaza region.
According to the Israeli armed forces, the country’s military operations are focused on targeting high-ranking Hamas operatives. On Wednesday, the offensive killed at least 16 intelligence chiefs and members of the faction’s military wing. The victims, however, were viewed by Hamas as martyrdom and will serve as “fuel for our project to liberate our land.”
Several world leaders have called for an end to the escalation of violence, fearing an open war between the two sides. However, requests for unaccompanied concrete action had no effect on the greatest spike in hostility since 2014.
In new airstrikes on Gaza, Israel hit a six-story residential building that the IDF says is owned by Hamas. The Islamic group, which has commanded the Gaza Strip since 2007, is considered a terrorist faction by the United States, the European Union and, of course, Israel.
“We are facing Israel and Covid-19. We are between two enemies,” Asad Karam, 20, a construction worker, told Reuters news agency, referring to the overcrowding of hospitals in Gaza due to hundreds of injured who now divide the space with those contaminated by the coronavirus.
Gaza health officials also said they were analyzing samples to investigate the deaths of several people on Wednesday night (12) due to suspected poison gas inhalation, but that they are not. reached a conclusion.
Hamas has already launched some 1,600 rockets at Israeli towns, according to the IDF. Most of them have been intercepted by missile defense systems, which force enemy projectiles to detonate from miles above sea level, often still in Palestinian territory. A rocket, however, struck a building near Tel Aviv, Israel’s second largest city and economic capital, and injured five people.
Especially in the south of the country, residents have had to live with sirens that warn of the dangers of enemy fire and start a race for public air raid shelters and reinforced wall spaces maintained by much of the population for such situations.
In one of the few concrete steps announced by the international community, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken sent his top diplomat to the region, Hady Amr, to negotiate a solution to end the violence with both sides. The statement came after major U.S. airlines canceled all flights to Tel Aviv due to clashes.
Blinken also spoke by telephone with the President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas. During the appeal, he condemned the airstrikes and stressed the need to ease tensions.
In the early evening, President Joe Biden spoke by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The American supported Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas rockets, but called for calm so that the situation can be resolved quickly, according to a White House statement. The Israeli government responded in a statement that it would continue its attacks on Hamas targets.
The new phase of hostilities, which includes the largest bombings since the 2014 war in the enclave, was sparked by clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.
The city, sacred to Jews, Palestinians, Christians and Muslims, has been in a state of tension since the start of Ramadan, the most important month in Islamic religious tradition.
Hamas, a radical Islamic group that has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, rivals Fatah, which controls the West Bank and the PNA (Palestinian National Authority) – traditionally recognized internationally as the official representative of the Palestinians. Between the 1960s and the early 1990s, Fatah was considered the main Palestinian group and repeatedly clashed with Israel. Over the past 30 years, however, the balance of power has shifted and Hamas has begun to lead offensives against the neighboring country, with the PNA reducing its participation in violent actions.
At the center of the current conflicts are freedom of worship in parts of the Jerusalem area known as the ancient city – which Palestinians say is hampered – and a court ruling that provides for the expulsion of Palestinian families. of the district of Sheikh Jarrah which, by verdict of a regional court, must return the land to the Jews.
HOW WERE THE LAST CLAUSES BETWEEN THE ISRAEL AND PALESTINIAN GROUPS
On February 23 and 20, Israeli soldiers accused a group of Palestinians of attempting to install an explosive on the fence separating Israel from the Gaza Strip, which sparked a conflict between the two sides. In response, the radical Islamic Jihad group fired around 100 rockets at southern Israel in 48 hours – which responded with shelling that left four Palestinians injured.
May 3-6, 19 After two Israeli soldiers near the border were wounded by gunfire from Gaza, Israel launched an attack on Hamas targets in the area. In response, 690 rockets from Gaza were fired at Israel, 240 of which were intercepted by the air defense system. The clash ended with 25 dead on the Palestinian side – including two pregnant women and two children – and 4 on the Israeli side.
25-27 March 19 A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip destroyed a house in the village of Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv, injuring seven Israelis. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu then ordered areas bombed by Hamas, which fired rockets at the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon. The violence ended after nearly a week of clashes.
November 11-13 18 A 40-year-old man died after a rocket hit his home in Ashkelon. In response, Israeli special forces teams intervened in the Gaza Strip – seven Palestinians and one Israeli agent were killed. Afterwards, groups from Gaza fired rockets at Israel, injuring 53 people. The Israeli armed forces then shelled Gaza, killing three people.
8 and 9. Aug. 18 The Israeli government even considered ground action in Gaza after nearly 180 rockets were launched from the area and injured more than a dozen. In the end, however, Israel opted for a bombing of 150 targets, which left three Palestinians dead, including a baby.
July and August 14, Hamas operatives kidnapped and killed three Israeli teenagers in June, in an action that sparked the biggest conflict in seven years. In response, Israel launched an action against the group’s targets in the West Bank. Subsequently, IDF troops entered the Gaza Strip in an escalation of the conflict, which lasted for seven weeks. During this period, Hamas and other groups launched 4,562 rockets at Israel, which retaliated by attacking 5,262 Palestinian targets. When the two sides finally reached a ceasefire in late August, more than 70 Israelis and 2,100 Palestinians were dead.