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Israeli airstrikes on Gaza kill 20 people, including 9 children

May 10, 2021
Palestinian health officials in the Gaza Strip say a total of 20 people, including nine children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes. — Courtesy file photo
Palestinian health officials in the Gaza Strip say a total of 20 people, including nine children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes. — Courtesy file photo

JERUSALEM — Palestinian health officials in the Gaza Strip say a total of 20 people, including nine children, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes.

The death toll made it one of the bloodiest days of fighting in several years.

Earlier, seven rockets were fired at Jerusalem by Hamas in Gaza amid tensions between Palestinians and the Israeli police at religious sites in the holy city.

Sirens rang out in Jerusalem in the early evening with the Israeli army saying that as well as the seven fired another rocket had been intercepted.

Israel carried out airstrikes on Gaza in retaliation for the rockets.

It comes after hundreds of Palestinians were hurt in clashes with Israeli police at al-Aqsa Mosque, and clashes after a far-right Israeli politician visited the Arab neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Claiming responsibility for the attack, Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida said the rockets were a response to “crimes and aggression” by Israeli forces in Jerusalem.

“This is a message the enemy has to understand well,” he said.

Israeli police and protesters faced off in the Al-Aqsa compound on Monday, with protesters throwing stones and police firing tear gas and stun grenades. The mosque is the third holiest site in Islam, and Muslims believe it was built on the site where the Prophet Mohammed ascended to heaven.

AP reported dramatic scenes at the site, with rocks littering the nearby plaza and shoes and debris scattered over ornate carpets inside the compound.

A total of 228 Palestinians were sent to hospitals and clinics for treatment, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent, while 21 Israeli police officers were hurt, including three who were hospitalised.

Israeli paramedics said seven Israeli civilians were also hurt.

In an apparent attempt to avoid further confrontation, Israeli authorities changed the planned route of a march by ultranationalist Jews through the Muslim Quarter of the Old City.

The marchers were ordered to avoid the area and sent on a different route circumventing the Muslim Quarter on their way to the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews can pray.

Marked as Jerusalem Day by Israelis, it commemorates Israel's capture of East Jerusalem from Jordan during the Six-Day War in 1967.

Hamas has previously targetted towns and cities in southern Israel with rockets, but strikes as far north as Jerusalem — 100 km north of Gaza — are rare.

The militant group, which has ruled Gaza since 2006, has fought three wars with Israel since it seized power, the most recent in 2014. — Euronews


May 10, 2021
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