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Israel-Palestine conflict intensifies as concerns of war grow

Death tolls rise as fighting continues. With no ceasefire, concerns of war have begun to grow

An Israeli soldier stands guard next to an Iron Dome air defense system as smoke rises from an oil tank on fire after it was hit by a rocket fired from Gaza Strip, near the town of Ashkelon, Israel.
An Israeli soldier stands guard next to an Iron Dome air defense system as smoke rises from an oil tank on fire after it was hit by a rocket fired from Gaza Strip, near the town of Ashkelon, Israel, Wednesday, May 12, 2021.
Associated Press

Overnight, the fighting between Israel and Palestinian Gaza has continued with rising death tolls and concerns of full-scale war, The Associated Press reports.

The International Criminal Court has stated it is monitoring the conflict for possible war crimes. Neither side has given any indication of backing down while diplomats from Qatar, Egypt, and the U.N. attempt to broker a cease-fire, the AP reports.

Losses, damage and panic in Gaza

Since the Israeli airstrikes began Monday night, the death toll in Gaza has reached 87 people. According to the Gaza health ministry and the AP, this includes 18 children and seven women. Over 487 individuals have been wounded, including at least 86 children and 39 women.

Firing 600 airstrikes, the Israeli military has targeted a mixture of residential, office and military buildings primarily in Gaza City and Khan Yunis, CNN and AP say, including:

Residents of Gaza are in panic, says the Palestinian minister of health spokesman. Hamas has issued a warning of retaliation if Israel continues targeting residential buildings.

Losses, damage and protests in Israel

The death toll in Israel has reached seven people, including one child, while over 200 more have been injured, according to the AP and the Israeli military, via CNN.

So far, Israeli military officials and AP report that Hamas militants have fired more than 1,500 rockets, at least 200 of which have fallen short and landed in Gaza. The rocket shelling has caused:

Within Israel, unrest has spread beyond Jerusalem to other Jewish-Arab cities, particularly Lod. The protests escalated into riots, with border guards deployed to support police officers in keeping order, a rare move according to the AP.

No signs of de-escalation

On Wednesday, the Israeli military called 5,000 reserve troops to active duty and spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus indicated possible preparations for a ground invasion with The New York Times reports confirming this possibility.

Hamas has called for full-scale “antifada,” or uprising. The last such uprising in 2000 led to over five years of conflict, the AP and The New York Times report.

The U.N. has denounced both sides of the violence, CNN states. Calls for de-escalation have come from the European Union and the U.S. The three previous conflicts between Hamas and Israel have ended with informal truces, convinced by regional and international powers, according to the AP.

The recent violence is increasingly resembling —and may even exceed— the violence of the 2014 Gaza war, AP reported today.

Further details

Tensions have been rising between Israelis and Palestinians since last month, with significant escalations over the last week.

More recent reports provide updates on earlier developments:

  • The Palestinian Red Crescent and the United Nations now report that nearly 1,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem and over 200 Palestinians in West Bank were injured between May 7 and May 10 in the threatened Shiekh Jarrah evictions and the Israeli police raid on Al Aqsa mosque, according to CNN.
  • Heavy policing of Muslims by Israeli security began last month with the start of the Muslim fasting and holy month, Ramadan, in mid-April, the AP reports.