Death toll rises as Israel-Palestine conflict intensifies

Gaza: At least 10 more Palestinians were killed on Friday by Israeli security forces across the occupied West Bank, as protests erupted against Israel’s aerial bombardment in Gaza and the possible eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem.

Gaza’s health ministry says at least 122 Palestinians, including 31 children, have been killed and more than 900 wounded in the enclave since the latest round of violence began.

The Palestinian health ministry said nine Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during protests across the occupied West Bank on Friday, and another person was killed during an attempt to stab an Israeli soldier near an illegal Israeli settlement in Yabad near Jenin, reported Al Jazeera.

Number of Palestinians killed in West Bank

The total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in confrontations in the West Bank is at least 12 since the start of this week.

However, a diplomatic source familiar with efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas tells The Times of Israel there is cautious optimism that one will be achieved in the next day or two.

The source says that this assessment among negotiators comes from experience brokering ceasefires to end previous rounds of violence between the sides and a “clear reading of the room.”

Israel Gaza border: Israeli tanks cross a road as they advances towards a staging ground near the Israeli Gaza border, May 14, 2021.AP/PTI
Beit Hanoun: Palestinians inspect their destroyed houses following overnight Israeli airstrikes in town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021. AP/PTI
Israel Gaza border : An Israeli attack helicopter launches flares as he flies over the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021. AP/PTI
Gaza City: Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Weary Palestinians are somberly marking the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as Hamas and Israel traded more rockets and airstrikes and Jewish-Arab violence raged across Israel. AP/PTI
Gaza: Palestinians walk next to the remains of a destroyed 15 story building after being hit by Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City, Thursday, May 13, 2021.AP/PTI
Gaza : Smoke rises after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City, the Gaza Strip, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. AP/PTI
Gaza City: Rockets are launched from Gaza Strip to Israel, Tuesday, May 11, 2021. AP/PTI Photo
Israel Gaza border:An Israeli artillery unit fires toward targets in Gaza Strip, at the Israeli Gaza border, Wednesday, May 12, 2021. AP/PTI Photo

On the other hand, Palestinian groups have fired more than 2,000 rockets so far from Gaza at Israeli territory since the beginning of the escalation of the conflict, almost 1,000 of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the Israeli army said on Friday, reported Sputnik.

At least seven people in Israel have been killed in the rocket attacks launched by armed groups in Gaza, Al Jazeera reports. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the Gaza offensive “as needed to restore calm in the state of Israel”.

Ten thousand Palestinians fled their homes

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Jerusalem Lynn Hastings on Friday said that some 10,000 Palestinians have already fled their homes in the Gaza Strip as the result of the ongoing fighting.

“The UN is concerned about a potential increase in displaced people from continued fighting, which also heightens risk of the spread of COVID-19 in these schools, given inadequate social distancing conditions,” said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Incident at Al-Aqsa Mosque

The conflict escalated after Israeli forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem amid eviction protests, which left scores of Palestinians and police officers wounded. Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza vowed to retaliate for Israeli assaults on Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Over 70 Palestinians in total are set to be evicted from Sheikh Jarrah in the coming weeks to be replaced by right-wing Jewish Israelis, reported The Times of Israel.