05:53 GMT18 June 2021
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    Tensions between Israel and Gaza reached a boiling point on Monday after a barrage of rockets was fired from the Palestinian territory into the country's south and Jerusalem. In response, Israel launched retaliatory fire, striking Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets.

    Some 5,000 reserve troops have been mobilised in southern Israel as cross-border hostilities with the Gaza Strip have intensified.

    Gaza fired hundreds of rockets into Israel on Monday, just hours after the radical group Hamas gave an ultimatum to Israel to withdraw soldiers from the areas of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. In response, Israel conducted a series of airstrikes against Hamas and Islamic Jihad facilities.

    The rocket fire comes amid a spike in tensions following an Israeli court ruling to evict several Palestinian families from Jerusalem. On Monday, Palestinians clashed with security forces just as the nation celebrated Jerusalem Day, commemorating Israel's takeover of the Old City in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War.

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    • 08:29

      UK PM Boris Johnson Urges Israel and Palestinians to 'Show Restraint'

    • 07:53

      Two Anti-Tank Missiles Fired From Gaza Into Israel, IDF Says

    • 05:44

      Mexico Urges Israeli and Palestinian Sides to Cease Hostilities, Launch Dialogue

    • 05:40

      Five Israelis Killed, Over 200 Injured in Rocket Attacks From Gaza Strip, IDF Says

      TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Five Israelis have been killed and over 200 others injured in rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip since Monday evening, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Jonathan Conricus said.

      Two Israeli civilians were killed in Lod, two civilians were killed in Ashkelon and one more was killed in Rishon LeZion, the IDF spokesman specified at a briefing for foreign reporters.

      According to Conricus, Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system keeps operating effectively, intercepting a significant share of rockets launched from the Palestinian enclave and saving Israelis' lives amid the massive shelling.

    • 05:06

      Gaza Resident Fears Bloodbath if Hamas-Israel Fighting Rages On

      Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City near Barcelona Park and multiple government places, one of the biggest air strikes on the Gaza Strip, early on May 12, 2021.

      'We Hear Explosions All The Time': Gaza Resident Fears Bloodbath if Hamas-Israel Fighting Rages On

      So far, five Israelis have been killed and dozens have been injured in missile attacks launched from the Gaza Strip. On the Palestinian side, at least 30 people have lost their lives, while more than 200 have been wounded in the violence.
      Read more
    • 04:50

      Over 1,050 Rockets and Mortar Shells Fired From Gaza Since Monday Evening, IDF Says

      IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said that the Iron Dome air defence system had an interception rate between 85 and 90 percent of rockets heading toward populated areas.

      According to the IDF, over 1,050 rockets and mortar shells have been fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel since Monday evening when the fighting broke out.

      In response, the IDF launched strikes on some 500 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, Zilberman said.

    • 04:49

      Sirens Go Off in Gaza Border Communities

      Rocket sirens went off in the Gaza border communities of Ein HaShlosha, Nahal Oz and Alumim. There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

    • 03:47

      Two Reportedly Wounded as Missile Hits House in Bareket Near Ben Gurion Airport in Israel

    • 03:12

      IDF Strikes at Homes of Top Hamas Officials in Gaza

    • 03:07

      IDF States its Retaliatory Strikes on Gaza Are Largest Since 2014

    • 02:50

      Red Alert Sirens Heard Over Israeli Cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon In Response to Large Incoming Rocket Barrage - Reports

    • 02:22

      IDF Kills Two Hamas Military Spies, Including Head of Group's Intelligence Department

    • 01:32

      IDF Says Eliminated Two Hamas Operatives Engaged in Missile Launches

    • 01:15

      Two People Suffer Injuries, One Critical in City of Lod as a Result of Direct Rocket Hit on House

    • 00:20

      IDF Says Attacked Several Targets, Operatives in Gaza Strip, Strikes Currently Ongoing

    • 00:06

      More Rockets Being Fired at Tel Aviv, Families Being Rushed to Bomb Shelters, IDF Says

    • 23:57

      Barrage of Rocket Sirens Sound Off Across Israel as Hamas Deploys 100 Rockets - Report

    • 23:24

      Palestinian Factions 'Joint Operations Room' Says Launched Around 300 Rockets Toward Tel Aviv on Tuesday Night - Reports

    • 23:17

      Netanyahu Heads to Lod After Declaring State of Emergency in Troubled City - Reports

    • 23:15

      Newly Surfaced Video Shows Israeli Tanks Allegedly Being Transported to Gaza Border

    • 22:59

      US Security Adviser Condemns Hamas Rocket Attacks in Call With Israel Official

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in a call with his Israeli counterpart Ben Shabbat condemned the recent rocket attacks on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv by Hamas and conveyed President Joe Biden’s support for its right for self-defense, the White House National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said in a release.

      “National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke today with Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat. He condemned the ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He conveyed the President’s unwavering support for Israel’s security and for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians,” the release said on Tuesday.

      Sullivan also spoke to Egypt about the crisis, the release said.

    • 22:36

      Twelve People Wounded, Two Remain in Serious Condition as a Result of Violent Clashes in Israeli City of Lod - Reports

    • 21:57

      Israeli Authorities Declare State of Emergency in City of Lod, Site of Riots

    • 21:31

      Newly Emerged Video Appears to Show Jewish Residents of City of Lod Being Evacuated by Israeli Police

    • 21:16

      Red Alert Sirens Heard Around Area of Israel's Lachish, Some Rockets Reportedly Intercepted

    • 21:05

      UN Middle East Peace Envoy Warns Israel, Palestinians Are Heading to 'Full Scale War'

      UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Tor Wennesland called on Israel and Palestinians to immediately stop fighting, warning that the escalation is heading toward a full-scale war.

      "Stop the fire immediately. We’re escalating towards a full scale war. Leaders on all sides have to take the responsibility of deescalation," Wennesland said in a Twitter statement on Tuesday. "The cost of war in Gaza is devastating [and] is being paid by ordinary people. UN is working with all sides to restore calm. Stop the violence now."

    • 20:58

      Netanyahu Orders Transfer of Judea & Samaria Border Battalions to City of Lod 'Immediately'

    • 20:47

      Mayor of Israeli City of Lod Calls for Netanyahu to Declare State of Emergency, Use Military to Restore Order Amid Rioting - Reports

    • 20:36

      UN Security Council Will Meet to Discuss Tensions in Middle East on Wednesday

      UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The UN Security Council will meet on Wednesday morning behind closed doors to discuss the developments in the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, a diplomatic source at the Security Council told Sputnik.

      "The UN Security Council plans to meet at 9:00 a.m. EDT tomorrow to hold closed consultations," the source said on Tuesday, when asked to confirm whether the council intends to address the deepening Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

    • 20:29

      Red Alert Sirens Heard Over Israeli City of Ashkelon, Surrounding Industrial Zone to South

    • 19:47

      Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport Reopens to Flights After Shutting Down for Over an Hour - Report

    • 19:29

      Oil Tanks in Ashkelon Hit by Gaza Missile

    • 19:22

      IDF Says Striking Hamas 'Weapon Stores' Located Inside Civilian Buildings, Urges Palestinians to 'Get to Safety'

    • 19:12

      Trump Blames Biden Over Escalating Israel-Palestinian Tensions, Says 'World Is Getting More Violent'

    • 18:58

      US Calls on All Sides in Israel, Gaza to Exercise Restraint

      The United States is calling on both Israel and those launching rockets from Gaza to exercise restraint and calm amid ongoing escalation of violence, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

      "We are deeply concerned about the escalation between Israel and those launching rockets from Gaza and we call for restraint and for calm", Price said. "The Palestinian people also have the right to safety and security just as Israelis do... We call on all sides to exercise restraint and to exercise calm".

      Price also said Israel has the right to defend itself and respond to attacks.

    • 18:57

      Russia Calls on Israel, Palestine to Exercise Restraint

      Russia is deeply concerned about the dangerous development of the situation in the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and calls on Israel and Palestine to avoid steps fraught with further escalation of tension, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.

      The situation in East Jerusalem and around the Gaza Strip remains extremely tense, she noted.

      "Moscow is deeply concerned about such a dangerous development of events. We strongly condemn attacks on civilians, regardless of their nationality and religion. We call on the parties to show restraint and not take steps fraught with further escalation of tensions. We believe it is important to observe the terms of the status quo in relation to the Holy Places in Jerusalem enshrined in the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, as well as the well-known UN resolutions concerning this city", Zakharova said in a statement.

      She stressed that Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators, in cooperation with regional and international parties, will consistently seek a comprehensive and sustainable settlement in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions providing for the creation of two states, Palestine and Israel, coexisting in peace and security.

    • 18:57

      Palestinian Ambassador Urges EU to Put Economic Pressure on Israel to 'End Aggression'

      Palestinian Ambassador to Brussels and the EU Abdel Rahim Al-Farra told Sputnik he had called on European countries to put pressure on Israel, threatening it with freezing trade and economic cooperation if the aggression continues.

      According to the diplomat, to his regret, "the EU member states do not intend to take such measures yet, despite the fact that a number of civil society institutions and some members of the European Parliament demand that economic sanctions be adopted against the Israeli government."

    • 18:49

      Maas: Rocket Attack on Israel Unacceptable, Must Be Stopped Immediately

      "Rocket attacks on Israel are absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped immediately. Israel has the right to self-defense in this situation. This escalation of violence cannot be tolerated or accepted", German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter.

    • 18:03

      Live From Jerusalem Amid Escalation of Tensions

    • 17:53

      Sirens Go Off in Tel Aviv as Dozens of Rockets Fired Towards City

      Rockets are launched from Gaza city, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, in response to an Israeli air strike on a 12-storey building in the city, towards the coastal city of Tel Aviv, on May 11, 2021.

      One Confirmed Dead, Three Injured as Hamas Fires Rockets Towards Tel Aviv

      Earlier in the day, Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants threatened to attack Tel Aviv in response to an Israeli strike on a residential tower in Gaza.
      Read more
    • 17:29

      Thirteen-Storey Residential Tower in Gaza Collapses After Israeli Air Raid, Reports Say

      Residents of the tower were ordered to evacuate an hour before the strike, Reuters reported, citing witnesses.

    • 16:56

      More Than 600 Rockets Fired Towards Israel From Gaza Over Past 24 Hours

    • 16:06

      Israeli Airstrikes Kill at Least 20 Hamas and Islamic Jihad Militants, Destroy 150 Rocket Launch Sites in Gaza

      The Israeli armed forces on Tuesday deployed 80 aircraft to simultaneously strike 150 targets in the Gaza Strip amid growing tensions, military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said.

      The spokesman said that Israeli operation targeted locations, mainly in the north of the Gaza Strip, used by the Hamas movement and the Islamic Jihad group to fire missiles towards Israel.

    • 14:24

      Israeli Military Publishes Video of Targeted Strike Against Islamic Jihad Commander

    • 14:22

      Japan Concerned by Unrest in Jerusalem, Israeli Settlement Activities

      The Japanese government on Tuesday voiced concern over the latest developments in East Jerusalem, including the Israeli-Palestinian clashes and the exchange of airstrikes, as well as the settlement activities of the Israeli administration in the West Bank.

      "The Government of Japan expresses its serious concern about the latest developments surrounding Israel and Palestine, including clashes and violence in East Jerusalem causing a number of injuries as well as firing of rockets from Gaza", the ministry said in a statement.

      It also branded the decision of the Israeli administration to build an additional 540 houses in East Jerusalem as a "violation of international law," and "totally unacceptable".

    • 14:18

      President Rivlin Tells EU Envoys That Israel Will Not Tolerate Violence From Palestine

      Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told ambassadors of the EU member states during a briefing that his country would not tolerate violence from Palestine.

      On Monday, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement calling on the international community to condemn the recent rocket fire launched from the Gaza Strip and "Palestinian terrorism targeting Israeli citizens in the strongest manner", as well as to support Israel's right of self-defence.

      "We will always protect and preserve freedom of religion and of worship, but we will not allow violence and disruption that threaten the safety of all Jerusalemites – Jews, Christians and Muslims alike", Rivlin said, as quoted by his press office.

      Commenting on the rocket attack, the president said that no country in the world would allow such a situation.

      "We will never accept this reality. We will protect our citizens by all necessary means", Rivlin added.

    • 14:10

      Palestinian Group Confirms Death of 3 Senior Commanders in Gaza

      Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian movement operating int he Gaza Strip, confirmed on Tuesday the death of three senior commanders in an Israeli missile strike on the exclave. The Palestinian group said the three assassinated members were leaders of the its armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigades.

    • 14:10

      Sirens Sound in Southern Israel

    • 13:18

      Netanyahu Threatens to Ramp Up Israel's Attacks in Gaza

      "At the conclusion of a situational assessment, it was decided that both the might of the attacks and the frequency of the attacks will be increased", Netanyahu said in a video statement, adding that Hamas "will be hit in ways that it does not expect".

    • 12:18

      Two Israeli Civilians Killed After Rocket Hits Residential Building in Ashkelon

      The Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that at least two people were killed in the Gaza shelling of Israel's south, including the cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod.

      "As a result of a terrorist rocket strike in a residential building in Ashkelon, two Israeli civilians were killed", the ministry said in a Telegram channel.

      According to Israel's Magen David Adom emergency service, medics are providing treatment for an 80-year-old women, whose condition is assessed as critical.

      The service also reported that 4 people were injured by glass fragments and 17 people suffered panic attacks as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip bombed a dozen of homes in Ashkelon and Ashdod on Tuesday.

      Earlier in the day, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz approved the call-up of 5,000 reserve soldiers as the Israeli military prepared for a large-scale offensive in the Gaza Strip amid the escalation of tensions.

    • 12:05

      Death Toll From Israel's Air Strikes on Gaza Strip Rises to 22

      The number of Palestinians killed from Israel's air strikes on the Gaza Strip has increased from 20 to 22, with 9 children and a woman being among the victims, a spokesman for the enclave's health ministry, Ashraf al-Qidra, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

      "As a result of Israel's air strikes on the Gaza Strip, 22 Palestinians were killed in the enclave, including 9 children and one woman ... Another 106 people were injured", al-Qidra said.

    • 12:04

      Israeli Police Arrest 31 Suspects After Last Night's Unrest

      Thirty-one protesters were arrested in the civil unrest that continued in several Israeli cities overnight, the police said on Tuesday.

      "Last night, serous unrest took place, which included blocking main roads, stone throwing, causing property damage, throwing bottles, launching fireworks and attacking police officers. The events took place in the Wadi Ara settlements and the city of Haifa. The police arrested 31 suspects after the incidents", the police said in a statement.

      The law enforcement agency will ask a court to extend the detention of 15 people "on suspicion of participating in serious unrest ... and attacks on roadblocks."

      According to the police, three officers received light injuries.

    • 11:53

      Live From the Gaza Strip Amid Growing Escalations Between Hamas and Israel

    • 11:34

      Arab League Chief Condemns Israeli Air Strikes on Gaza Strip

      On Tuesday, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (LAS), Ahmed Aboul Gheit, condemned Israel's air raids on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the death of over 20 Palestinians.

      "Secretary-General of the League of Arab States condemned the Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip", the League said in a statement.

      The organisation's head described Israel's actions "indiscriminate and irresponsible", adding that they are driven by "vengeful and domestic" political intentions, the statement read. Aboul Gheit blamed Israel for the ongoing escalation and called upon the international community to take immediate measures to push Israel to "stop aggression in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip".

      "Israel's outrage in Jerusalem and the government's tolerance of Jewish extremists, who are hostile to Palestinians and Arabs — that is what led to the escalation of this dangerous situation", the LAS said.

      Other international organisations and actors are paying more attention to the ongoing developments between Israel and Palestine.

      On Tuesday, the Saudi Foreign Ministry urged the international community to hold Israel responsible for a new round of tensions in Palestine, and called for "putting an immediate end to the occupation [Israel] actions that violate all international norms and agreements."

      The diplomatic authority highlighted that it supports all efforts to "end Palestine's occupation" and achieve a comprehensive solution to the long-standing Palestinian issue, including the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

    • 11:26

      IDF Shares New Footage of Strike Against Hamas Targets

    • 10:57

      Israeli Army Attacks Over 130 Targets in Gaza in Early Hours of Tuesday, Spokesman Says

    • 10:54

      Turkey Taking Steps to Prevent Israeli 'Aggression', Foreign Ministry Says

      Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has reached out to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss ways in which the international community can defuse Middle East tensions and make Israel drop its "aggressive attitude", the Turkish foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

      "[Cavusoglu] is holding telephone conversations with the Secretary General of the OIC, as well as his counterparts in the countries of the region and various European countries, regarding the steps that can be taken at the UN, OIC and other international platforms in order to reduce the tension in the region and to ensure that Israel leaves its aggressive attitude", the ministry said in a statement.

      Ankara desires, in particular, that Israel immediately halt the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force which, it says, in no way cancels Palestinians' legitimate rights and demands.

      Describing Israel's policies as "aggressive and provocative," the Turkish foreign ministry said they served no other purpose than to "further increase hostility and tension in the region."

    • 10:49

      At Least Two Injured After Gaza Rocket Hits Residential Building in Ashdod

    • 10:46

      Israel Shuts Off Access to Gaza Strip for Foreign Reporters

      Israel has banned foreign journalists from entering Palestine's Gaza Strip through the Erez (Beit Hanoun in Arabic) border crossing starting from Tuesday until further notice, the nation's Ministry of Defence Crossing Points Authority said on Tuesday.

      Erez is the only crossing, which is generally used by civilians to reach the Palestinian enclave.

      "Journalists are prohibited from travelling through the Erez checkpoint until further notice", the authority said in a statement.

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