Israel-Palestine conflict: Hostilities reach worst level in years. How bad is it?
Airstrikes cause extensive destruction in Gaza and rockets fire from Lebanon. Everything you need to know as the conflict unfolds.
On the ninth day of fighting, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rages on with no signs of abating despite renewed international calls for a cease-fire. Unrest and mob violence continues among the Palestinian Israeli community in cities across Israel, the worst unrest seen in years according to The New York Times, as Palestinian leaders call for a strike Tuesday.
- As of Tuesday, 213 Palestinians, including 61 children and 36 women, have been killed by Israeli airstrikes, Gaza health officials told The Associated Press. Another 1,440 Palestinians have been wounded, the officials said.
- So far, 12 Israelis, including one child, have been killed by Palestinian rocket fire, the AP reported.
- At least 20 Israeli Palestinians have been killed over the last week by Israeli security forces during the unrest within Israel, The New York Times reported.
Israeli Defense Forces announced that they have hit more targets in Gaza this past week than they did in all of 2020. More Israeli civilians have died this week from Hamas rocket-fire than died in the entire 2014 Gaza War which lasted seven weeks, The New York Times said.
- Rockets launched from Lebanon toward Israel Monday night with Israel returning fire, Fox News reported, but so far it is unclear who was behind the Lebanese launches.
Israeli airstrikes continue to pound Gaza. How bad is it?
Monday night, Israeli airstrikes targeted the homes of Hamas military commanders and the metro tunnel system in Northern Gaza used by Hamas to move weapons, equipment and people. For the first night since fighting began, Hamas did not launch any rockets at Israel Monday night into Tuesday, CNN reported.
- Rocket fire from Gaza began again Tuesday morning, hitting a packing plant and killing two workers, the AP reported.
- More than 2,500 Palestinians are without homes, the U.N. reported via CNN.
- About 41,000 Palestinians are internally displaced and taking refuge in 16 schools run by the United Nations’ Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.
- At least 800,000 Palestinians do not have access to safe drinking water as Gaza begins running low on water, fuel and medical supplies.
- Airstrikes have destroyed 132 buildings in Gaza, according to The New York Times.
- Over the last week, 18 hospitals and medical clinics have been damaged in Gaza, including the main coronavirus testing center, and one health facility has been entirely destroyed by Israeli airstrikes. The Qatar Red Crescent reported damage to its local offices in Gaza following the Monday night airstrikes.
In Israel, air raid sirens have continued in civilian areas of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beer Sheva. Most of the 3,400 rockets fired from Hamas have been intercepted and destroyed mid-air by Israel’s advanced missile defense system, the Iron Dome.
Biden calls for a cease-fire but not a halt, what’s stalling a truce?
On Monday, President Joe Biden called for a cease-fire while speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but stopped short of demanding an immediate end to the hostilities. So far, the Biden administration has not publicly criticized Israel, an ally. Rather, the administration says it is pursuing “quiet, intensive diplomacy,” the AP reports.
Efforts by Egypt and Qatar to broker a truce have stalled on two key issues, officials told CNN.
- Israel insists that Hamas must initiate the cease-fire at least three hours before Israel does. Hamas rejected this, Hamas leaders said.
- Hamas insists that Israel must end “provocations” at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and resolve the forced evictions in Sheikh Jarrah, the key flashpoints which led to the current hostilities. Israel has refused, officials told CNN.
The U.N. Security Council met again Monday but did not issue a joint statement condemning the violence, due to the U.S. continuing to block the statement, the AP reported. Following united calls for a cease-fire, officials of the European Union are meeting Tuesday to discuss how they can best pursue an end to the fighting.
- Netanyahu vowed Monday to “continue to strike at the targets of terrorism,” CNN reported.