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Streaks of light are seen as rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards central Israel as seen from Ashkelon, Israel May 16, 2021  - Sputnik International

Live Updates: Israeli Jets Strike Nine Underground Rocket Launchers in Gaza, IDF Says

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Air raid sirens went off in southern Israel on Tuesday morning, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said.

The Times of Israel has reported that sirens went off in the Sha'ar Hanegev region and in Nahal Oz near the Gaza Strip.

The current escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict started earlier this month when unrest began in East Jerusalem after a court decided to evict several Palestinian families from the area.

© REUTERS / MOHAMMED SALEMA tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city, May 15, 2021.
Live Updates: Israeli Jets Strike Nine Underground Rocket Launchers in Gaza, IDF Says - Sputnik International, 1920, 18.05.2021
A tower housing AP, Al Jazeera offices collapses after Israeli missile strikes in Gaza city, May 15, 2021.

The situation on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip has been deteriorating amid heavy rocket exchanges that have resulted in the deaths of over 200 Palestinians, including more than 60 children.

Israel has reported 10 people killed and 50 injured, while the Palestinian Red Crescent says that more than 1,300 Palestinians have been injured amid the continuing escalation. More than 3,300 rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip, while the Israeli Army said it has launched hundreds of rockets targeting Hamas infrastructure and militants.

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02:53 GMT 19.05.2021

Early on Wednesday morning, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that rocket sirens sounded in the southern part of Israel.

01:24 GMT 19.05.2021

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – France, together with Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan, is preparing a draft UN Security Council resolution that will call for the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as well as organizing humanitarian corridor in the conflict zone, a diplomatic source in the UN Security Council told Sputnik.

"France is preparing with Egypt, Tunisia and Jordan a draft resolution calling for a ceasefire and humanitarian access. It is written to be acceptable to everyone," the source said.

The current episode of the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict broke out last week after civil unrest in East Jerusalem, prompting hostilities on the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip, with Palestinian militants having fired thousands of rockets at Israel and the latter retaliating with airstrikes.

So far, the UN Security Council has adopted no statements on the Israeli-Palestinian violence over the US veto on the documents.

00:32 GMT 19.05.2021
U.S. State Department Spokesman Ned Price speaks during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920
US Condemns Turkish President's Remarks About Jewish People
00:32 GMT 19.05.2021
US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu give joint statements to press in the prime minister's office in Jerusalem on March 9, 2016. - Biden implicitly criticised Palestinian leaders for not condemning attacks against Israelis, as an upsurge in violence marred his visit.  - Sputnik International, 1920
Biden Reportedly Delivers Firmer Message to Netanyahu in Private Call Than in Public Statement
00:11 GMT 19.05.2021

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock said he hopes the world body will release $14 million for emergency assistance to the Palestinian families amid the escalation of the situation in the Gaza Strip.

“We need adequate funding to enable a speedy response. The Humanitarian Coordinator, Lynn Hastings, hopes to release some US$14 million from the OPT Humanitarian Fund,” Lowcock said on Tuesday.

Lowcock added that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will soon launch a fuller appeal as the initial funding seeks to meet only immediate needs.

21:21 GMT 18.05.2021

GAZA (Sputnik) – The Gaza Strip-based Hamas Islamist movement has refuted the reports about its consent to establish a ceasefire with Israel starting from Thursday, a member of the Hamas Political Bureau Izzat Rishq said.

On late Tuesday, Israeli television reported that Egypt had proposed to impose a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinian militants starting from Thursday, adding that Hamas had already accepted the initiative.

"The reports from the rival party that Hamas has agreed on the ceasefire starting from Thursday are not true ... No solution or timeframe for the cessation of hostilities has been agreed," Rishq wrote on his Twitter page.

21:03 GMT 18.05.2021
20:51 GMT 18.05.2021

According to reports by Israeli media, barrages of rockets were fired toward multiple targets in Israel, including the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon and the Shephelah.

20:22 GMT 18.05.2021

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Israel has not asked the US for any additional support for its operations against Palestinians amid the ongoing military conflict, the Defense Department spokesperson John Kirby said on Tuesday.

“They [Israel] have not asked for any additional support. We continue to stand by Israel’s right to defend itself and its citizens. As you know, we have a strong bilateral military relationship with Israel and that has not changed as a result,” Kirby told reporters during a briefing.

Kirby also underscored that during the telephone conversation with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Gantz earlier in the day, the US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was clear that Washington did not want to see any additional innocent civilian lives lost on either side of the clash while supporting Israel’s right to defend itself.

19:56 GMT 18.05.2021

MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov on Tuesday discussed the situation in the Middle East in light of the renewed conflict between Israel and Palestine o a phone conversation with Maher Taher, a member of the political bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

The conversation is said to have taken place at the request of the Palestinian side.

"During the conversation, they discussed the situation in the Middle East in relation to the ongoing escalation of the armed struggle between the Israelis and the Palestinians," the ministry said in a statement.

The Russian side stressed the need for a swift ceasefire and prevention of further deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, as well as consolidated efforts by the Middle East Quartet.

19:24 GMT 18.05.2021

DOHA (Sputnik) - The Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) will continue to work in the Gaza Strip, despite the bombing of its building, and expects to provide humanitarian aid worth a million dollars, Faisal Al-Emadi, the executive director of international relief and development sector of QRCS, told Sputnik.

"We in the Qatar Red Crescent pledge to continue our humanitarian projects to help our people in Palestine, and coordination is underway to implement a relief movement worth one million dollars to help the affected people in cooperation with the Palestinian Red Crescent," Al-Emadi said.

19:21 GMT 18.05.2021

"In the last few hours, fighter jets and aircraft have attacked six Hamas terrorist rocket launch sites throughout the Gaza Strip", IDF stated in its Twitter account on Tuesday.

19:01 GMT 18.05.2021

Egypt has proposed an Israel-Hamas ceasefire that should enter into effect starting Thursday at 6 a.m., Israeli Channel 12 reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, citing sources, Hamas has agreed to the proposal.

18:00 GMT 18.05.2021

DOHA, May 18 (Sputnik) - Palestine's Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, expects that Palestinians living in the West Bank will join its resistance movement against Israel, a member of the movement's political bureau, Husam Badran, said in an interview with Sputnik.

On Sunday, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum told Sputnik that the movement could not rule out the possibility of armed resistance to Israeli authorities on the Palestinian territories of the West Bank. According to Barhum, an all-Palestinian rebellion in the West Bank is "just a matter of time."

"The escalation has also affected the West Bank, there has accumulated experience associated with resistance to the occupation, and there is a noticeable development of the popular resistance movement in various parts of the West Bank, including an increase in the number of operations with the use of firearms, blade weapons, vehicles for ramming," Badran said.

The political bureau member also said that the movement was interested in continuing the resistance in the West Bank so that it covered all groups of the Palestinian people, using all forms of struggle, "which is the duty and right of [the Palestinian] people."

The current episode of the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict broke out last week on the border of Israel and the Gaza Strip. The violence sparked demonstrations in support for both Israel and Palestine across the world, with protesters calling on the international community to take urgent action.

17:39 GMT 18.05.2021
Qatar Red Crescent's sign - Sputnik International, 1920
IDF Bombed Qatar Red Crescent's Building in Gaza Strip Without Prior Notice, Organisation Says
16:46 GMT 18.05.2021
15:51 GMT 18.05.2021
15:12 GMT 18.05.2021
ВВС Израиля нанесли авиаудары по высотке в Газе, в которой расположены офисы американского информагентства Associated Press и катарского телеканала «Аль-Джазира» - Sputnik International, 1920
Hamas Did Not Receive Any Conditions for Truce From Israel, Politburo Member Says
15:02 GMT 18.05.2021

UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour on Tuesday called on UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to immediately issue emergency humanitarian assistance to Gaza.

“We want from the Secretary-General to issue immediately an emergency humanitarian assistance to the tragedy that exists in the Gaza Strip,” Mansour said during the UN Forum on the Question of Palestine.

Mansour said the assistance is urgent for more than 50,000 Palestinians who have already been displaced due to the ongoing violence

14:52 GMT 18.05.2021
Israeli security forces walk past extinguished burnt vehicles in Holon near Tel Aviv, on May 11, 2021, after rockets were launched towards Israel from the Gaza Strip controlled by the Palestinian Hamas movement - Sputnik International, 1920
US Pentagon Chief 'Lamented Loss of Innocent Israeli, Palestinian Lives'
14:26 GMT 18.05.2021

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Senator Marco Rubio, alongside 17 fellow Senate Republicans, introduced a resolution that reaffirms the US’ support for the state of Israel amid escalating tensions in the region, Rubio’s office stated on Tuesday.

“U.S. Senator Marco Rubio joined [his Senate colleagues]… in introducing a resolution condemning the attacks against Israel by Hamas, an Iranian-backed and funded terrorist organization, and reaffirming the United States’ unwavering commitment to our ally Israel and its right to take whatever means are necessary to stop the murder of its citizens and foreign nationals residing in Israel,” Rubio’s office said.

The resolution is nonbinding; if passed, it would postulate that the Senate, on paper, opposes the escalating rocket attacks by Hamas against Israel and mourns the loss of innocent life caused by them, urges continued and steadfast support for Israel, and affirms its unwavering commitment to Israel and its right to defend itself.

13:56 GMT 18.05.2021

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has discussed the ongoing escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict with his Bahraini and Moroccan counterparts, State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in two separate readouts on Tuesday.

“Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke today with Bahraini Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani,” Price said. “The Secretary and Foreign Minister discussed their outreach to halt the conflict in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza.”

Price said in another press release that Blinken and Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita discussed their concerns about the violence in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza.

“The Secretary highlighted the importance of the strong bilateral partnership and Morocco’s key role in fostering stability in the region,” he added.

The two kingdoms are part of the Arab states that normalized relations with Israel in last year's detente, alongside the United Arab Emirates and Sudan.

The Israel Defense Forces and the Palestinian militants in Gaza have exchanged fire for more than a week. The increase in violence, the worst in years, has killed 10 people in Israel and 220 in Gaza, almost a quarter of them children.

13:21 GMT 18.05.2021
12:09 GMT 18.05.2021
11:45 GMT 18.05.2021
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks during a news conference following meetings at the Danish Foreign Ministry in Copenhagen, Denmark, May 17, 2021. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS - Sputnik International, 1920
Blinken Says US Seeks to End Violence Between Israelis and Palestinians as Soon as Possible
11:44 GMT 18.05.2021
11:02 GMT 18.05.2021
10:24 GMT 18.05.2021
A Palestinian man takes a photograph with his mobile phone of a building hit and destroyed during an Israeli Air strike in Gaza City, on May 15, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920
Situation in Gaza as Israeli-Hamas Crisis Enters Second Week
09:57 GMT 18.05.2021

"As of 8:00 a.m., IDF fighter jets have identified and attacked 9 underground surface-to-surface rocket launchers across the Gaza Strip", the tweet says.

09:39 GMT 18.05.2021

"The IDF has attacked 12 senior Hamas commanders' houses in the Gaza Strip in the past 24 hours", an official tweet from the military says.

09:08 GMT 18.05.2021
08:32 GMT 18.05.2021
YouTube https://www.youtube.com
08:02 GMT 18.05.2021
A man stands near a burning sponge factory after it was hit by Israeli artillery shells, according to witnesses, in the northern Gaza Strip May 17, 2021 - Sputnik International, 1920
Biden Voices Support for Israel-Hamas Ceasefire…Again
07:04 GMT 18.05.2021
Эксперт по обезвреживанию бомб израильской полиции смотрит из окна жилого дома, который был поврежден после попадания в него ракеты, запущенной из сектора Газа, в Ашкелоне - Sputnik International, 1920
Third of Israelis Have No Access to Bomb Shelters, Living in Fear of Rocket Launches
06:37 GMT 18.05.2021

"Early in the morning, a UAV that was approaching the border near the Springs Valley was identified and shot down. The UAV was monitored by air control units. The UAV fragments were collected by the security forces", a tweet from the military says.

06:11 GMT 18.05.2021
05:26 GMT 18.05.2021
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