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  • Writer's pictureD. Brit

Gaza Under Heavy Artillery Fire as Violence Escalates in Region

Updated: May 16, 2021

What Happened:

  • The Gaza Strip continues to be under heavy artillery fire Friday morning as Hamas militants and Israeli forces exchange multiple rocket attacks and airstrikes.

  • Dozens of people living in Gaza have fled their homes as the region is seeing the worst violence since the 2014 war.

  • The death toll continues to climb for both countries as well with 119 Palestinians dead, including 31 children, and 7 Israelis dead, including 1 child who died in a rocket attack. Hundreds have been wounded by the attacks on both sides, though the majority of the wounded are Palestinians.

  • According to the Israeli military, Hamas has fired more than 1,750 rocket attacks since Monday with over 90% being intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system. Israel has retaliated with over 600 airstrike targets, including three high rise buildings they say housed Hamas intelligence offices. Israel warned civilians to evacuate the buildings before destroying them.

  • The United Nations and Egyptian officials say cease-fire negotiations are underway but that little progress has been made. Many are concerned that the continued escalation of violence will lead to war.

  • On Friday, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz warned that Israel has “many, many more targets” and no end date for its military operations in the area. Israel has also called up 7,000 army reservists.

  • The violence began a month ago when Israeli police forces were criticized for using heavy-handed tactics and dozens of Palestinian families were threatened with eviction. This resulted in multiple protests and clashes including a major confrontation Monday between Israeli police and Palestinians at the Al-Aqsa mosque, one of Jerusalem’s holiest sites.

Developing Story

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