Israeli security forces target Palestinian protesters during protests against the Israeli occupation and its air campaign in the Gaza Strip in the occupied city of Hebron in the West Bank on May 18, 2021.
Hazem Bader | AFP | Getty Images
Fighting between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants continued until the ninth Tuesday. According to the Israeli authorities, two Thai workers were killed overnight in a packaging plant in southern Israel by rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. Health officials in Gaza recorded no overnight deaths in the Palestinian enclave for the first time since the violence began on May 10.
Increasing international calls for a ceasefire, including from US President Joe Biden, were ignored as gunfire and missile attacks continued to be carried out by both sides.
The Israeli military reported that 62 of its warplanes had dropped 110 guided bombs on Gaza overnight and by Tuesday. Its targets included Hamas leaders, the tunnel network, and rocket launch pads. It was also said that 90 rockets were fired from Gaza overnight, making the final 3,440 rockets total, most of which caused no casualties.
In Jerusalem, the Israeli-occupied West Bank and elsewhere in Israel, Palestinian demonstrators struck in support of the Gaza Strip.
Israel has announced that it will continue its offensive to eliminate Hamas and Islamic Jihad – US-designated terrorist organizations – the former also governing Gaza, a 140 square miles strip of land home to 2 million people who are under the Israeli blockade stood since 2007.
But Israel’s offensive, allegedly directed against Hamas, resulted in 213 Palestinian deaths in Gaza on Tuesday afternoon, including 61 children and 36 women, according to the Gaza Strip authorities. The violence between Israelis and Palestinians is the worst in the region in seven years, and Sunday when Israeli fighter jets erected level three buildings in Gaza was the deadliest day since recent hostilities began.
Rocket attacks by Hamas and Islamic Jihad also continued. Israeli strikes against Hamas tunnel networks have collapsed beneath Palestinian homes, burying families in ruins. Ten people have died in Israel, including two children, the Israeli authorities said on Monday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a televised address on Sunday that Israel “wants to raise a high price” from Hamas leaders in Gaza and that its offensive in the blocked area “would take time”. In a phone call between Biden and Netanyahu on Monday, the US president reportedly called for a ceasefire but did not call for an immediate halt to the violence by the Israeli military.
A view from above shows the destroyed six-story Kuhail building that was hit by an early morning Israeli air strike on Gaza City on May 18, 2021.
Mahmud Hams | AFP | Getty Images
“The IDF [Israel Defense Forces] does not speak of a truce. We are focused on the sacking, “Brigadier General Hidai Zilberman, spokesman for the Israeli military, told the country’s army radio on Tuesday.
On May 5, before hostilities broke out in full, but amid growing protests and clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces, the Biden administration notified Congress of a planned sale of $ 735 million in precision-guided weapons to Israel, reported Reuters. Israel is the largest beneficiary of US military aid at $ 3.1 billion a year. The State Department did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.