Death toll in Gaza rises to 35, 5 killed in Israel as violence escalates following heavy aerial exchange
New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: At least 35 people were killed in Gaza while over 5 casualties were reported from the Israeli side after hostilities between the Israeli armed forces and Hamas escalated further on Wednesday. Israel Military forces carried out hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza today morning in which one residential building, which is the home of around 80 residents, was collapsed while another was heavily damaged. The Israeli airstrike came as Hamas, from the other side, fired multiple rocket barrages at Tel Aviv and Beersheba.
Hamas's armed wing said it fired 210 rockets towards Beersheba and Tel Aviv in response to the bombing of the tower buildings in Gaza City. Several rockets were also fired at Ashkelon, Modiin and Tel Aviv. The health ministry run by the Hamas group reported that so far, 32 Palestinians have been killed and 220 people injured in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.
It was the heaviest offensive between Israel and Hamas since a 2014 war in Gaza and prompted international concern that the situation could spiral out of control. Gazans homes shook and the sky lit up from Israeli attacks, outgoing rockets and Israeli air defence missiles intercepting them. At least 30 explosions were heard within a matter of minutes just after dawn on Wednesday.
The violence followed weeks of tension in Jerusalem during the month of Ramadan with Israeli armed forces attacking Palestinians offering prayers and protesting at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, on a contested compound revered by Jews as Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary.
The country has been embroiled in conflict over the impending ethnic cleansing of dozens of Palestinians from East Jerusalem's neighbourhood. The Israelis are set to forcefully evict over 70 Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah which will be replaced by right-wing Israelis on a claim that the houses in the region were owned by Jewish religious associations before the establishment of Israel in 1948.
The Arab League, some of whose members have warmed ties with Israel over the last year, accused it of "indiscriminate and irresponsible" attacks in Gaza and said it was responsible for "dangerous escalation" in Jerusalem.
Hamas named its rocket assault "Sword of Jerusalem", seeking to marginalise Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and to present itself as the guardians of Palestinians in Jerusalem. The militant group's leader, Ismail Haniyeh, said Israel had "ignited a fire in Jerusalem and Al-Aqsa and the flames extended to Gaza, therefore, it is responsible for the consequences."
The Israeli military said the building, in Gaza City's Rimal neighbourhood, housed "multiple" Hamas offices, including ones for military research and development and military intelligence. A second residential and office building in the same neighbourhood was heavily damaged in Israeli attacks shortly before 2 a.m. on Wednesday.
(With Agencies Inputs)
Posted By: Talibuddin Khan