Israel-Gaza violence latest updates – Death toll soars as Netanyahu vows Hamas will 'pay heavy price' for rocket attacks

TENSIONS between Israel and Hamas are at boiling point as Tel Aviv and Gaza this week witnessed their worst violence since the 2014 war.

Hamas this morning said it fired 130 rockets at Tel Aviv after an Israeli air strike destroyed a tower block in Gaza.

Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Hamas that it "will pay a heavy price for their belligerence" as the country steps up its attacks on the Gaza Strip.

It follows Israel threatening Hamas with days of air strikes after a rocket attack on Jerusalem on Monday. Hamas launched another offensive last night after a 13-storey residential block in the Gaza Strip collapsed yesterday following an Israeli air strike.

The building housed an office used by the political leadership of Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas.

The escalation in violence followed a decision by Israeli cops to storm a compound at the al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

Violence erupted for a third night in a row with many were struck by rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas ahead of a planned Jewish nationalist march.

Read our Israel-Gaza live blog below for all the latest news and updates…

 

  • Joseph Gamp

    EXPLAINED: WHAT ARE TAMIR MISSILES?

    Tamir is a Hebrew acronym for Til Meyaret which means interceptor missile.

    Each one is fitted with sensors and steering fins to ensure they collide with their intended target and is fired from a launcher remotely by a wireless connection.

    The missiles have a range of 43 miles, are 10 feet in length and cost $50,000 to make.

    Each battery containing the missiles can protect around 150 sq km.

  • Caroline Mortimer

    UN ENVOY WARNS WE ARE "HEADING TOWARDS A FULL-SCALE WAR"

    UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland warned that "we're escalating towards a full-scale war".

    "Leaders on all sides have to take the responsibility of de-escalation," he said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GAZA DEATH TOLL RISES TO 43

    A total of 43 people have now been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, the enclave’s health authority has said.

    Officials say thirteen of the dead are children.

    Nearly 300 people in the Strip have been injured in the worst fighting since the 2014 war.

  • Caroline Mortimer

    UN SECRETARY-GENERAL 'SADDENED' BY RENEWED CONFLICT

    A spokesman for Antonio Guterres said the secretary-general was saddened by "the increasingly large numbers of casualties, including children, from Israeli air strikes in Gaza and of Israeli fatalities from rockets launched from Gaza.

    "Israeli security forces must exercise maximum restraint and calibrate their use of force. The indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars towards Israeli population centres is unacceptable," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

  • Joseph Gamp

    GERMANY: JEWISH COMMUNITY CALLS FOR PROTECTION AMID ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN CLASHES

    Germany's Jewish community on Wednesday called for protection to be ramped up after Israeli flags were burnt in front of synagogues amid escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence.

    Police arrested 16 people in two separate incidents at synagogues in the cities of Bonn and Muenster, where Israeli flags were set on fire late Tuesday.

    Josef Schuster, president of Germany's Central Council of Jews, blamed Hamas for the escalating conflict in Israel and said tensions were spilling over.

    "Israel and Jews as a whole are subjected to hatred and incitement, particularly on social media. The threat to the Jewish community is growing," he said.

    Pointing to the flag-burning incidents, he said "the protection of Jewish institutions must be raised. We expect from the people in Germany solidarity with Israel and the Jewish community," added Schuster.

  • Joseph Gamp

    ISRAEL-GAZA VIOLENCE: THE LATEST

    • The exchanges between the two sides represent “some of the most intense fighting between Israel and Hamas since their 2014 war,”
    • On Monday, Israeli police fired stun grenades in the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, one of Islam's holiest sites, and Palestinian demonstrators threw stones at police
    • On Tuesday, Palestinian militants launched rockets into Israel in response to the incident in Jerusalem, CNN reports.
    • Israeli PM Netanyahu promised to “further increase force"

    EXPLAINED: HOW SUCCESSFUL IS THE IRON DOME AT STOPPING ATTACKS?

    In the US, Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering (ret.) writes in Defence News: “Iron Dome has stopped over 2,000 rockets fired at Israeli population centres with a remarkable success rate, an achievement that also shifted US thinking about homeland missile defence.

    “Iron Dome is the most proven and affordable option against very short-range fire.”

    He’s hailed it as a ‘gamechanger’.

    On the battlefield during Operation Pillar of Defence in November 2012, and when used in Operation Protective Edge in 2014, the system had 84 per cent and 91 per cent rates of success, respectively.

    WATCH: ISRAELI AIR STRIKE RAZES GAZA TOWER BLOCK HOUSING HAMAS OFFICE IN RESPONSE TO TERROR GROUP'S ROCKET ATTACKS

    TURKEY AND RUSSIA DISCUSS CONFLICT OVER PHONE

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia's Vladimir Putin discussed in a phone call tensions in Gaza and Jerusalem, Turkey's presidency said on Wednesday.

    Erdogan told Putin the international community needed to "teach a deterrent lesson" to Israel, adding that Ankara was working to mobilise this reaction, according to a statement from his office.

    Erdogan also called for work to be done on sending international peacekeepers to the region to help safeguard Palestinians, a proposal Turkey has made since 2018.

    • Joseph Gamp

      PICTURED: PALESTINIANS INSPECT RUBBLE OF RAZED GAZA CITY TOWER BLOCK

      Palestinians inspect the rubble of destroyed Al-Jawhara tower after an Israeli airstrike overnight in Gaza CityCredit: EPA
      The retaliatory airstrike was launched after over 130 rockets were fired by Hamas on Israeli cities amid ongoing clashesCredit: EPA
    • Caroline Mortimer

      PAKISTANI PM CALLS FOR MUSLIM SOLIDARITY WITH PALESTINIANS

      Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has condemned Israel's actions and called for Muslim nations to support the Palestinians

      He tweeted “We stand with Gaza and Palestine.”

      Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi meanwhile urged Muslim nations to unite over Israel's strikes on Palestinian civilian areas.

      Protesters are expected to hold a small anti-Israel rally later today in the southern city of Karachi.

    • Joseph Gamp

      ISRAELI SOLDIER KILLED BY ANTI-TANK FIRE

      An anti-tank missile was fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israeli territory on Wednesday morning, according to the Israel Defence Force.

      Haaretz reported that one soldier was killed after the projectile struck a military vehicle. Two others were reportedly injured.

    • Joseph Gamp

      GAZA DEATH TOLL RISES TO 43

      A total of 43 people have now been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, the enclave’s health authority has said.

      Officials say thirteen of the dead are children.

      Nearly 300 people in the Strip have been injured in the worst fighting since the 2014 war.

    • Joseph Gamp

      UN SECURITY COUNCIL TO HOLD EMERGENCY MEETING

      The UN Security Council was planning to hold its second closed emergency meeting in three days on Wednesday to address the escalating violence between the Israelis and Palestinians.

      Council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions have been private, said the UN's most powerful body had not already issued a statement because of US concerns that it could make things worse.

      It comes as diplomats from Qatar and Egypt also work to deliver a ceasefire.

    • Caroline Mortimer

      INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT PROSECUTOR 'CONCERNED' ABOUT ESCALATING CONFLICT

      ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has released a statement on Twitter –

      The Israeli Defence Force is already under investigation by the ICC for its destruction of apartment towers during the 2014 conflict.

    • Joseph Gamp

      EXPLAINED: HOW SUCCESSFUL IS THE IRON DOME AT STOPPING ATTACKS?

      In the US, Lt. Gen. Henry A. Obering (ret.) writes in Defence News: "Iron Dome has stopped over 2,000 rockets fired at Israeli population centres with a remarkable success rate, an achievement that also shifted US thinking about homeland missile defence.

      "Iron Dome is the most proven and affordable option against very short-range fire."

      He's hailed it as a 'gamechanger'.

      On the battlefield during Operation Pillar of Defence in November 2012, and when used in Operation Protective Edge in 2014, the system had 84 per cent and 91 per cent rates of success, respectively.

    • Joseph Gamp

      IN PICTURES: VIOLENCE ERUPTS IN GAZA

      Cars crushed by rubble in the aftermath of overnight Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City
      A fire rages at sunrise in Khan Yunish following an Israeli airstrike on targets in the southern Gaza strip

       

    • Joseph Gamp

      EXPLAINED: WHAT IS HAMAS?

      Hamas is a Palestinian militant movement that also serves as one of the territories’ two major political parties, explains the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR).

      Over the years, Hamas has carried out shooting, bombing and rocket attacks in Israel.

      Since 2008, Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza have fought three cross-border wars and have had numerous skirmishes since the group seized control of Gaza in 2007.

      Israel launches lethal military operations every so often to strike at armed Palestinian groups – the most recent in May 2021, carrying out multiple air strikes in Gaza, with the militant group firing rockets at Tel Aviv.

      Hamas as a whole, or in some cases its military wing, is designated a terrorist group by Israel, the US, EU, and UK, as well as other powers, explains BBC News. "To its supporters, though, Hamas is seen as a legitimate resistance movement", the BBC adds.

    • Joseph Gamp

      WATCH: ISRAEL'S IRON DOME DEFENCE SYSTEM INTERCEPTS SCORES OF HAMAS ROCKETS IN SKIES ABOVE TEL AVIV FIRED FROM GAZA

      Israel’s Iron Dome defence system intercepts scores of Hamas rockets in skies above Tel Aviv fired from Gaza

    • Joseph Gamp

      BORIS JOHNSON URGES RESTRAINT FROM BOTH SIDES OF CONFLICT

      British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has urged Israelis and Palestinians "to step back from the brink," as he called on "both sides to show restraint."

      "The UK is deeply concerned by the growing violence and civilian casualties and we want to see an urgent de-escalation of tensions," Johnson said on Twitter.

      Johnson's message comes after a heavy night of shelling in the Gaza Strip resulted in the deaths of at least 35 people, fueling fears of a descent into full-scale war.

    • Joseph Gamp

      MAPPED: LAND OCCUPIED BY ISRAEL AFTER 1967 WAR

    • Joseph Gamp

      WHAT'S HAPPENING IN PALESTINE? (CONTINUED…)

      May 2021 saw some of the worst violence in Jerusalem for years, as simmering tensions between Isreal and Palestine boiled over.

      Hundreds of people on both sides were wounded as up to 40 citizens, including children, lost their lives.

      Much of the recent unrest stems from the long-running legal effort by Jewish settler groups to evict several Palestinian families from their homes in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

      A lower court ruling earlier this year backing the settlers' decades-old claim infuriated Palestinians.

      A Supreme Court hearing on a Palestinian appeal had been set May 10 and risked inflaming tensions further.

    • Joseph Gamp

      EXPLAINED: WHAT IS ISRAEL'S 'IRON DOME' AERIAL DEFENCE SYSTEM?

      The Iron Dome is a mobile, all-weather air defence system in Israel designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and 155mm artillery shells fired from a distance of 4km to 70km.

      It intercepts rockets that are travelling in the direction of a urban areas and brings them down – it is the first system of its kind in the world.

      Developed by Rafael Advanced Defence Systems, if can be operated in all weather conditions including fog, dust storm, low clouds and rain.

      Israel hopes to increase the range of the dome's interceptions to 250km and make it able to stop rockets coming from two directions.

      The system was ready for use in March 2011 and in April it had successfully intercepted a BM-21 Grad launched from Gaza for the first time.

    • Joseph Gamp

      THE SUN EXPLAINS: WHAT’S HAPPENING IN PALESTINE?

      The Israel Palestinian conflict has rumbled on for decades, having begun over a dispute between land and borders. The area of land in question, formerly known as Palestine, was initially inhabited by a Jewish minority and an Arab majority.

      However, between the 1920s and 40s, Jews began arriving in vast numbers as they fled persecution and later sought out a homeland after the Holocaust.

      As British rulers left in 1948, the Jewish leaders living there declared the creation of the state of Israel.

      Yet, many Arabs already living in the area objected to this and war between the two parties followed. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled or were forced out of their homes in the process in what they the call 'The Catastrophe.'

      By the time the fighting ended in a ceasefire the following year, Israel controlled most of the territory.

    • Joseph Gamp

      ISRAELI AIRSTRIKE RAZES SECOND GAZA TOWER BLOCK

      The Associated Press reported that Israeli aircraft struck a high-rise building in Gaza City early Wednesday morning. 

      The nine-story building houses residential apartments, medical production companies and a dental clinic.

      Warning shots were reportedly fired from drones in advance, and there have been no immediate reports of casualties.

      Hamas-affiliated media reported that the building was "significantly damaged." 

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