Israel airstrikes kill 20 in Gaza, Palestinians say, after militants hearth rockets at Jerusalem By Reuters



© Reuters. Israeli police collect as they conflict with Palestinians on the compound that homes Al-Aqsa Mosque, recognized to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem’s Previous Metropolis, Might 10, 2021. REUTERS/Ammar Awad


By Jeffrey Heller and Nidal al-Mughrabi

JERUSALEM/GAZA (Reuters) – Violent clashes over Jerusalem escalated dramatically on Monday with Gaza well being officers saying a minimum of 20 individuals, together with 9 kids, have been killed by Israeli air strikes launched after Palestinian militant teams fired rockets near Jerusalem

Israel’s army mentioned it carried out strikes towards armed teams, rocket launchers and army posts in Gaza after militants there crossed what Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu referred to as a “purple line” by firing on the Jerusalem space for the primary time since a 2014 struggle.

The rocket hearth and Israeli air strikes continued late into the evening, with Palestinians reporting loud explosions near Gaza Metropolis and throughout the coastal strip. Shortly earlier than midnight native time, Israel’s army mentioned Palestinian militants had fired round 150 rockets into Israel, of which dozens have been intercepted by its missile defence programs.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned the rocket assaults from Gaza towards Israel ought to cease “instantly.” He urged all sides to take steps to cut back tensions.

Monday started with early-morning confrontations at Al-Aqsa Mosque within the coronary heart of Jerusalem’s walled Previous Metropolis on the compound recognized to Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims because the Noble Sanctuary – probably the most delicate web site within the Israel-Palestinian battle.

The Palestine Purple Crescent Society mentioned greater than 300 Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli police, who fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gasoline within the compound. Police mentioned 21 officers have been damage within the skirmishes.

The upsurge in violence got here as Israel celebrated “Jerusalem Day”, marking its seize of East Jerusalem within the 1967 Arab-Israeli struggle.

In an effort to defuse tensions, police modified the route of a conventional Jerusalem Day march, wherein hundreds of Israeli flag-waving Jewish youth have been on account of stroll by means of the Previous Metropolis close to Damascus Gate, a flashpoint in latest weeks.

However though the difficulty had died down by mid-morning, there have been different focal factors of pressure, together with the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem simply north of the Previous Metropolis the place a number of Palestinian households face eviction from properties claimed by Jewish settlers in a long-running authorized case.

Demanding that Israel take away its police from Al-Aqsa and Sheikh Jarrah, Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls Gaza, set a 6 p.m. (1500 GMT) deadline for the forces to be withdrawn.

Even because the marchers have been diverted towards Jaffa Gate, sirens sounded alerting Israelis to incoming rockets from Gaza, forcing the marchers and different Israelis to flee for canopy in Jerusalem, close by cities and in Israeli communities close to Gaza.

Israel views all of Jerusalem as its capital, together with the jap half that it annexed after the 1967 struggle in a transfer that has not gained worldwide recognition. Palestinians need East Jerusalem for the capital of a state they search in Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Financial institution.

Stress had been constructing for weeks throughout the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, amid clashes between Israeli safety forces and Palestinian protesters prompting worldwide concern that occasions may spiral uncontrolled.[L8N2MX0K2]

Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad militant group claimed duty for the rocket hearth on Jerusalem.

Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for Hamas’s armed wing, mentioned it had launched “a rocket strike towards the enemy within the occupied Jerusalem in response to their crimes and aggression towards the holy metropolis and its aggression towards our individuals in Sheikh Jarrah and Al-Aqsa mosque.”

In response, Netanyahu mentioned: “The terrorist organisations crossed a purple line on Jerusalem Day and attacked us, on the outskirts of Jerusalem.”

He added: “Israel will reply very forcefully. We is not going to tolerate assaults on our territory, our capital, our residents and our troopers. Whoever strikes us pays a heavy worth.”


For Hamas, some commentators mentioned, its problem to Israel was an indication to Palestinians that it reasonably than Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was now calling the pictures in holding Israel accountable for occasions in Jerusalem.

Israeli army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Jonathan Conricus mentioned that a minimum of six of the rockets fired from Gaza have been launched in direction of Jerusalem’s outskirts, the place a home was hit. No casualties have been reported.

“We now have began to assault Hamas army targets,” Conricus mentioned in a briefing to reporters, placing no timeframe on any Israeli offensive. “Hamas pays a heavy worth.”

He mentioned the army was wanting into stories that kids had been killed.

“We had a number of occasions of rockets fired by Gaza terrorists falling brief. This is likely to be the identical,” Conricus mentioned.

Alongside the fortified Gaza-Israeli border, a Palestinian anti-tank missile fired from the tiny coastal territory struck a civilian automobile, injuring one Israeli, he mentioned.

After studying of the deaths in Gaza, President Abbas determined to cancel celebrations of the upcoming Eid El-Fitr that marks the top of Ramadan, and restrict them to spiritual rituals solely, in keeping with a press release printed by the official WAFA information company.

The report mentioned he additionally determined to decrease flags to half-mast “to mourn the souls of the martyrs of our individuals who have been killed within the Israeli bombardment on Gaza Strip.”

Worldwide efforts to stem the violence appeared to have already begun. A Palestinian official advised Reuters that Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations, which have mediated truces between Israel and Hamas up to now, have been in touch with the group’s chief Ismail Haniyeh.

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