Israeli bombs ‘kill disabled man, his pregnant wife and their three-year-old child’, Gaza’s health ministry says as death toll in current offensive rises to 227 despite ceasefire calls
- Israeli strikes on Gaza have killed seven people including a disabled man
- His pregnant wife and their child, 3, were also killed, Gaza’s health ministry said
- The deaths bring to 227 the number of people killed in Israeli bombardment
Israeli strikes on Gaza have killed seven people including a disabled man, his pregnant wife and their three-year-old child, the health ministry said.
Another person died of wounds sustained the day before, the ministry in Gaza told AFP.
The deaths bring to 227 the number of people killed in Israeli bombardment in the coastal strip since May 10.
Israel is facing a growing internal crisis as the conflict with Gaza continues and riots have flared up across the West Bank and also in Arab communities within its borders.
Meanwhile, allies of Hamas across the northern border with Lebanon have started launching missiles at Israeli towns and cities.
Wreckage of buildings are seen after Israeli attacks on Gaza Strip, on May 19, 2021 in Gaza City, Gaza. 227 people, 64 of them children, have lost their lives in Israel’s attacks on the Gaza Strip since May 10, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza
Palestinian protesters seek cover during clashes with Israeli troops at Huwwara checkpoint near the West Bank City of Nablus, May 19
Benjamin Netanyahu threatened earlier he could ‘conquer’ Hamas in the Gaza Strip despite US calls for ceasefire.
Washington later released a statement saying that Joe Biden had called the Israeli PM to say ‘that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire.’
But Netanyahu had shown no signs there would be a let up at a summit of ambassadors in Tel Aviv hours earlier, saying: ‘There are only two ways that you can deal with [Hamas]. You can either conquer them – and that’s always an open possibility – or you can deter them.
‘And we are engaged right now in forceful deterrence, but I have to say we don’t rule out anything.’
Senior Hamas officials have laid out their conditions today for a truce with Israel, saying it would stop launching rockets if Israeli forces agreed not to police the entrance to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and if it would halt the eviction of Palestinians from the neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah in disputed east Jerusalem, according to a report in CBS News.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Wednesday to press ahead with a fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip, pushing back against calls from the United States to wind down the operation that has left hundreds dead.
Palestinians inspect the damage of a destroyed house that was hit by an Israeli airstrike in town of Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, May 19
Netanyahu’s tough comments marked the first public rift between the two close allies since the fighting began last week and could complicate international efforts to reach a cease-fire.
Israel continued to pound targets in Gaza with airstrikes, while Palestinian militants bombarded Israel with rocket fire throughout the day. In another sign of potential escalation, militants in Lebanon fired a rocket barrage into northern Israel.
After a visit to military headquarters, Netanyahu said he appreciated ‘the support of the American president,’ but he said Israel would push ahead to return ‘calm and security’ to Israeli citizens.
He said he was ‘determined to continue this operation until its aim is met.’
He spoke shortly after U.S. President Joe Biden told Netanyahu that he expected ‘a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire,’ the White House said.
Biden had previously avoided pressing Israel more directly and publicly for a cease-fire with Gaza’s Hamas militant rulers. But pressure has been building for Biden to intervene more forcefully as other diplomatic efforts gather strength.
Palestinian protesters throw back tear gas grenades during clashes with Israeli troops at Huwwara checkpoint near the West Bank City of Nablus on Wednesday
The current round of fighting between Israel and Hamas began May 10, when the militant group fired long-range rockets toward Jerusalem after days of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a flashpoint site sacred to Jews and Muslims. Heavy-handed police tactics at the compound and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers had inflamed tensions.
Since then, Israel has launched hundreds of airstrikes that it says have targeted Hamas’ infrastructure, and Hamas and other militant groups embedded in residential areas have fired more than 3,700 rockets at Israeli cities, with hundreds falling short and most of the rest intercepted or landing in open areas.
At least 227 Palestinians have been killed, including 64 children and 38 women, with 1,620 people wounded, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, which does not break the numbers down into fighters and civilians. Hamas and Islamic Jihad say at least 20 of their fighters have been killed, while Israel says the number is at least 130. Some 58,000 Palestinians have fled their homes.
Twelve people in Israel, including a 5-year-old boy, a 16-year-old girl and a soldier, have been killed.
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