Fears of war as Israel-Gaza violence escalates

Fears of war as Israel-Gaza violence escalates
This building in the southern Gaza Strip was hit by an Israeli air strike. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: The deadly exchange of fire between Israeli military and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip has escalated significantly, with the United Nations fearing a “full-scale war”.

Israel says more than 1,000 rockets have been fired by Palestinian militants. Israely’s military has carried out hundreds of air strikes on Gaza, killing senior Hamas officials and destroying three tower blocks and. At least 53 Palestinians and 6 Israelis have been killed since Monday.

At least 14 Palestinian children were among the dead.

António Guterres, UN Secretary-General, said he was “gravely concerned” by the ongoing violence.

Violent unrest in towns in Israel with mixed Arab and Jewish populations has led to hundreds of arrests. Lod near Tel Aviv is under a state of emergency.

Benjamin Netanyahu said the Israeli government would use all its strength to protect Israel from enemies on the outside and rioters on the inside.

On Monday night, militants in Gaza began firing rockets into Israel, and Israeli military has responded by hitting targets in the territory.

Israel said on Wednesday that it had killed senior Hamas officials in Gaza, and was also targeting missile launching sites.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “This was only the beginning. We will inflict blows on them that they have never dreamed of.”

Hamas confirmed the death of its commander in Gaza City and other “warriors”.”Thousands of leaders and soldiers will follow in their footsteps,” Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, said in a statement.

More than 300 people have been injured there since the conflict began, as well as the 53 who have died, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.

On Wednesday, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said that their strikes on Gaza were its largest since the conflict in 2014.

A third high-rise building in Gaza was destroyed on Wednesday. Hamas said in a statement that it was incensed by “the enemy’s targeting of residential towers”.

Residents had been warned to evacuate the buildings before the Israeli fighter jets attacked; however health officials said there were still civilian deaths.

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