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A stun grenade fired by Israeli forces explodes as Palestinians take part in an anti-Israel protest amid a flare-up of Israeli-Palestinian violence, in Hebron in the Israeli-occupied West Bank May 11, 2021. - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Over 1,050 Rockets and Mortar Shells Fired From Gaza Since Monday Evening, IDF Says

Tensions between Israel and Gaza reached a boiling point on Monday after a barrage of rockets was fired from the Palestinian territory into the country's south and Jerusalem. In response, Israel launched retaliatory fire, striking Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets.

Some 5,000 reserve troops have been mobilised in southern Israel as cross-border hostilities with the Gaza Strip have intensified.

Gaza fired hundreds of rockets into Israel on Monday, just hours after the radical group Hamas gave an ultimatum to Israel to withdraw soldiers from the areas of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem. In response, Israel conducted a series of airstrikes against Hamas and Islamic Jihad facilities.

The rocket fire comes amid a spike in tensions following an Israeli court ruling to evict several Palestinian families from Jerusalem. On Monday, Palestinians clashed with security forces just as the nation celebrated Jerusalem Day, commemorating Israel's takeover of the Old City in the wake of the 1967 Six-Day War.

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08:29 GMT 12.05.2021
07:53 GMT 12.05.2021
05:44 GMT 12.05.2021
05:40 GMT 12.05.2021

TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Five Israelis have been killed and over 200 others injured in rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip since Monday evening, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Jonathan Conricus said.

Two Israeli civilians were killed in Lod, two civilians were killed in Ashkelon and one more was killed in Rishon LeZion, the IDF spokesman specified at a briefing for foreign reporters.

According to Conricus, Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system keeps operating effectively, intercepting a significant share of rockets launched from the Palestinian enclave and saving Israelis' lives amid the massive shelling.

05:06 GMT 12.05.2021
Smoke rises after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City near Barcelona Park and multiple government places, one of the biggest air strikes on the Gaza Strip, early on May 12, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920
'We Hear Explosions All The Time': Gaza Resident Fears Bloodbath if Hamas-Israel Fighting Rages On
04:50 GMT 12.05.2021

IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman said that the Iron Dome air defence system had an interception rate between 85 and 90 percent of rockets heading toward populated areas.

According to the IDF, over 1,050 rockets and mortar shells have been fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel since Monday evening when the fighting broke out.

In response, the IDF launched strikes on some 500 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, Zilberman said.

04:49 GMT 12.05.2021

Rocket sirens went off in the Gaza border communities of Ein HaShlosha, Nahal Oz and Alumim. There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

03:47 GMT 12.05.2021
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23:57 GMT 11.05.2021
23:24 GMT 11.05.2021
23:17 GMT 11.05.2021
23:15 GMT 11.05.2021
22:59 GMT 11.05.2021

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in a call with his Israeli counterpart Ben Shabbat condemned the recent rocket attacks on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv by Hamas and conveyed President Joe Biden’s support for its right for self-defense, the White House National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne said in a release.

“National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke today with Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat. He condemned the ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He conveyed the President’s unwavering support for Israel’s security and for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians,” the release said on Tuesday.

Sullivan also spoke to Egypt about the crisis, the release said.

22:36 GMT 11.05.2021
21:57 GMT 11.05.2021
21:31 GMT 11.05.2021
21:16 GMT 11.05.2021
21:05 GMT 11.05.2021

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Tor Wennesland called on Israel and Palestinians to immediately stop fighting, warning that the escalation is heading toward a full-scale war.

"Stop the fire immediately. We’re escalating towards a full scale war. Leaders on all sides have to take the responsibility of deescalation," Wennesland said in a Twitter statement on Tuesday. "The cost of war in Gaza is devastating [and] is being paid by ordinary people. UN is working with all sides to restore calm. Stop the violence now."

20:58 GMT 11.05.2021
20:47 GMT 11.05.2021
20:36 GMT 11.05.2021

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - The UN Security Council will meet on Wednesday morning behind closed doors to discuss the developments in the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, a diplomatic source at the Security Council told Sputnik.

"The UN Security Council plans to meet at 9:00 a.m. EDT tomorrow to hold closed consultations," the source said on Tuesday, when asked to confirm whether the council intends to address the deepening Israeli-Palestinian crisis.

20:29 GMT 11.05.2021
19:47 GMT 11.05.2021
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18:58 GMT 11.05.2021

The United States is calling on both Israel and those launching rockets from Gaza to exercise restraint and calm amid ongoing escalation of violence, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in a press briefing on Tuesday.

"We are deeply concerned about the escalation between Israel and those launching rockets from Gaza and we call for restraint and for calm", Price said. "The Palestinian people also have the right to safety and security just as Israelis do... We call on all sides to exercise restraint and to exercise calm".

Price also said Israel has the right to defend itself and respond to attacks.

18:57 GMT 11.05.2021

Russia is deeply concerned about the dangerous development of the situation in the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem and calls on Israel and Palestine to avoid steps fraught with further escalation of tension, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Tuesday.

The situation in East Jerusalem and around the Gaza Strip remains extremely tense, she noted.

"Moscow is deeply concerned about such a dangerous development of events. We strongly condemn attacks on civilians, regardless of their nationality and religion. We call on the parties to show restraint and not take steps fraught with further escalation of tensions. We believe it is important to observe the terms of the status quo in relation to the Holy Places in Jerusalem enshrined in the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty, as well as the well-known UN resolutions concerning this city", Zakharova said in a statement.

She stressed that Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and a member of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators, in cooperation with regional and international parties, will consistently seek a comprehensive and sustainable settlement in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions providing for the creation of two states, Palestine and Israel, coexisting in peace and security.

18:57 GMT 11.05.2021

Palestinian Ambassador to Brussels and the EU Abdel Rahim Al-Farra told Sputnik he had called on European countries to put pressure on Israel, threatening it with freezing trade and economic cooperation if the aggression continues.

According to the diplomat, to his regret, "the EU member states do not intend to take such measures yet, despite the fact that a number of civil society institutions and some members of the European Parliament demand that economic sanctions be adopted against the Israeli government."

18:49 GMT 11.05.2021

"Rocket attacks on Israel are absolutely unacceptable and must be stopped immediately. Israel has the right to self-defense in this situation. This escalation of violence cannot be tolerated or accepted", German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Twitter.

18:03 GMT 11.05.2021
17:53 GMT 11.05.2021
Rockets are launched from Gaza city, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement, in response to an Israeli air strike on a 12-storey building in the city, towards the coastal city of Tel Aviv, on May 11, 2021.  - Sputnik International, 1920
One Confirmed Dead, Three Injured as Hamas Fires Rockets Towards Tel Aviv
17:29 GMT 11.05.2021

Residents of the tower were ordered to evacuate an hour before the strike, Reuters reported, citing witnesses.

16:56 GMT 11.05.2021
16:06 GMT 11.05.2021

The Israeli armed forces on Tuesday deployed 80 aircraft to simultaneously strike 150 targets in the Gaza Strip amid growing tensions, military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said.

The spokesman said that Israeli operation targeted locations, mainly in the north of the Gaza Strip, used by the Hamas movement and the Islamic Jihad group to fire missiles towards Israel.

14:24 GMT 11.05.2021
14:22 GMT 11.05.2021

The Japanese government on Tuesday voiced concern over the latest developments in East Jerusalem, including the Israeli-Palestinian clashes and the exchange of airstrikes, as well as the settlement activities of the Israeli administration in the West Bank.

"The Government of Japan expresses its serious concern about the latest developments surrounding Israel and Palestine, including clashes and violence in East Jerusalem causing a number of injuries as well as firing of rockets from Gaza", the ministry said in a statement.

It also branded the decision of the Israeli administration to build an additional 540 houses in East Jerusalem as a "violation of international law," and "totally unacceptable".

14:18 GMT 11.05.2021

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin told ambassadors of the EU member states during a briefing that his country would not tolerate violence from Palestine.

On Monday, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement calling on the international community to condemn the recent rocket fire launched from the Gaza Strip and "Palestinian terrorism targeting Israeli citizens in the strongest manner", as well as to support Israel's right of self-defence.

"We will always protect and preserve freedom of religion and of worship, but we will not allow violence and disruption that threaten the safety of all Jerusalemites – Jews, Christians and Muslims alike", Rivlin said, as quoted by his press office.

Commenting on the rocket attack, the president said that no country in the world would allow such a situation.

"We will never accept this reality. We will protect our citizens by all necessary means", Rivlin added.

14:10 GMT 11.05.2021

Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian movement operating int he Gaza Strip, confirmed on Tuesday the death of three senior commanders in an Israeli missile strike on the exclave. The Palestinian group said the three assassinated members were leaders of the its armed wing, the Al-Quds Brigades.

14:10 GMT 11.05.2021
13:18 GMT 11.05.2021

"At the conclusion of a situational assessment, it was decided that both the might of the attacks and the frequency of the attacks will be increased", Netanyahu said in a video statement, adding that Hamas "will be hit in ways that it does not expect".

12:18 GMT 11.05.2021

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that at least two people were killed in the Gaza shelling of Israel's south, including the cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod.

"As a result of a terrorist rocket strike in a residential building in Ashkelon, two Israeli civilians were killed", the ministry said in a Telegram channel.

According to Israel's Magen David Adom emergency service, medics are providing treatment for an 80-year-old women, whose condition is assessed as critical.

The service also reported that 4 people were injured by glass fragments and 17 people suffered panic attacks as rockets fired from the Gaza Strip bombed a dozen of homes in Ashkelon and Ashdod on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz approved the call-up of 5,000 reserve soldiers as the Israeli military prepared for a large-scale offensive in the Gaza Strip amid the escalation of tensions.

12:05 GMT 11.05.2021

The number of Palestinians killed from Israel's air strikes on the Gaza Strip has increased from 20 to 22, with 9 children and a woman being among the victims, a spokesman for the enclave's health ministry, Ashraf al-Qidra, told Sputnik on Tuesday.

"As a result of Israel's air strikes on the Gaza Strip, 22 Palestinians were killed in the enclave, including 9 children and one woman ... Another 106 people were injured", al-Qidra said.

12:04 GMT 11.05.2021

Thirty-one protesters were arrested in the civil unrest that continued in several Israeli cities overnight, the police said on Tuesday.

"Last night, serous unrest took place, which included blocking main roads, stone throwing, causing property damage, throwing bottles, launching fireworks and attacking police officers. The events took place in the Wadi Ara settlements and the city of Haifa. The police arrested 31 suspects after the incidents", the police said in a statement.

The law enforcement agency will ask a court to extend the detention of 15 people "on suspicion of participating in serious unrest ... and attacks on roadblocks."

According to the police, three officers received light injuries.

11:53 GMT 11.05.2021
11:34 GMT 11.05.2021

On Tuesday, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States (LAS), Ahmed Aboul Gheit, condemned Israel's air raids on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the death of over 20 Palestinians.

"Secretary-General of the League of Arab States condemned the Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip", the League said in a statement.

The organisation's head described Israel's actions "indiscriminate and irresponsible", adding that they are driven by "vengeful and domestic" political intentions, the statement read. Aboul Gheit blamed Israel for the ongoing escalation and called upon the international community to take immediate measures to push Israel to "stop aggression in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip".

"Israel's outrage in Jerusalem and the government's tolerance of Jewish extremists, who are hostile to Palestinians and Arabs — that is what led to the escalation of this dangerous situation", the LAS said.

Other international organisations and actors are paying more attention to the ongoing developments between Israel and Palestine.

On Tuesday, the Saudi Foreign Ministry urged the international community to hold Israel responsible for a new round of tensions in Palestine, and called for "putting an immediate end to the occupation [Israel] actions that violate all international norms and agreements."

The diplomatic authority highlighted that it supports all efforts to "end Palestine's occupation" and achieve a comprehensive solution to the long-standing Palestinian issue, including the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

11:26 GMT 11.05.2021
10:57 GMT 11.05.2021
10:54 GMT 11.05.2021

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has reached out to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss ways in which the international community can defuse Middle East tensions and make Israel drop its "aggressive attitude", the Turkish foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

"[Cavusoglu] is holding telephone conversations with the Secretary General of the OIC, as well as his counterparts in the countries of the region and various European countries, regarding the steps that can be taken at the UN, OIC and other international platforms in order to reduce the tension in the region and to ensure that Israel leaves its aggressive attitude", the ministry said in a statement.

Ankara desires, in particular, that Israel immediately halt the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force which, it says, in no way cancels Palestinians' legitimate rights and demands.

Describing Israel's policies as "aggressive and provocative," the Turkish foreign ministry said they served no other purpose than to "further increase hostility and tension in the region."

10:49 GMT 11.05.2021
10:46 GMT 11.05.2021

Israel has banned foreign journalists from entering Palestine's Gaza Strip through the Erez (Beit Hanoun in Arabic) border crossing starting from Tuesday until further notice, the nation's Ministry of Defence Crossing Points Authority said on Tuesday.

Erez is the only crossing, which is generally used by civilians to reach the Palestinian enclave.

"Journalists are prohibited from travelling through the Erez checkpoint until further notice", the authority said in a statement.

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