Israel news – live: Gaza death toll hits 43, as rockets kill five in Israel and unrest spreads

Israel intercepts Gaza rockets with Iron Dome defence system

Israeli airstrikes have now killed 43 people including 13 children in Gaza, according to the enclave’s health authority. Meanwhile, rockets fired from the Strip have killed five people in Israel as hostilities between Hamas and Tel Aviv continue to rage.

Of those killed in Israel, two were in Lod, two in Ashkelon and one in Rishon LeZion. One was reportedly a child. Their deaths came amid a surge in Israeli military activity, with Benjamin Netanyahu promising to expand the offensive against Hamas and the militant group Islamic Jihad, and adding: “This will take time.”

The prime minister has also declared an emergency in the town of Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv, following what police called “wide-scale riots” by supporters of the Palestinians.

The two sides have returned to the brink of war following weeks of confrontations, including a heavy-handed police response to worshippers gathering for Friday prayers at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, a site holy to both Muslims and Jews.

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UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting

The UN Security Council was planning to hold its second closed emergency meeting in three days on Wednesday to address the escalating violence between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions have been private, said the UN’s most powerful body had not already issued a statement because of US concerns that it could make things worse.

It comes as diplomats from Qatar and Egypt also work to deliver a ceasefire.

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 10:22

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Gaza death toll rises

Forty-three people have now been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, the enclave’s health authority has said.

Thirteen of the dead were children, according to officials.

Nearly 300 people in the Strip have been injured in the worst fighting since the 2014 war.

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 10:00

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Johnson urges Israel and Palestinians back from brink of war

Boris Johnson says the UK is urging both Israel and the Palestinians to step back from the brink of war.

Both sides should display restraint, the prime minister has said.

Here is the full story:

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 09:38

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Ocasio-Cortez criticises NYC mayoral candidate for attending Eid event after ‘chest-thumping’ support for Israel airstrikes

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday hit out at the New York mayoral hopeful Andrew Yang for scheduling a campaign event around the celebration of Eid after tweeting in support of Israel amid the escalating violence between Israeli forces and Hamas in Jerusalem, writes Namita Singh.

Mr Yang, in his initial tweet on Monday had said, “I’m standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists.

“The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere,” he said.

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 09:16

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Israel launches early-morning airstrike bombardment

Just after daybreak on Wednesday, Israel unleashed dozens of airstrikes over just a few minutes.

The bombings targeted police and security installations, according to witnesses, leaving a cloud of dark gray smoke over Gaza City.

The Hamas-run interior ministry said strikes had destroyed the central police headquarters in Gaza City, a compound with several buildings.

Lt Col Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesperson, said two infantry brigades had been sent to the area, indicating preparations for a possible ground invasion.

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 08:51

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The Independent’s Middle East correspondent runs for cover after rocket scare in Israel

The Middle East correspondent for The Independent, Bel Trew, filmed a frantic scene as she ran for cover after a rocket scare in the city of Ashkelon, Israel.

The reporter was in the city covering the rising tensions between Israel and Hamas in Gaza when sirens began to blare and she was forced to dive for cover.

The footage recorded by Trew during the frenzy shows her helping an elderly woman in a wheelchair as people run to take shelter within a nearby building.

Watch: The Independent’s Middle East correspondent runs for cover after rocket scare in Israel

The Middle East correspondent for The Independent, Bel Trew, filmed a frantic scene as she ran for cover after a rocket scare in the city of Ashkelon, Israel.The reporter was in the city covering the rising tensions between Israel and Hamas in Gaza when sirens began to blare and she was forced to dive for cover.The footage recorded by Trew during the frenzy shows her helping an elderly woman in a wheelchair as people run to take shelter within a nearby building.

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 08:26

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Catch up on overnight developments

Israel protests: Over 80 rockets fired at Tel Aviv from Gaza with security at ‘highest alert’, police say

Over 80 rockets have been fired toward Tel Aviv from Gaza, Israeli police have said, in an “unprecedented” attack many feared may push both sides to the brink of war, write Bel Trew and Samuel Osborne.

The extraordinary scenes captured on camera showed the barrage of projectiles light up the night sky like fireworks as they were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system.

One woman was killed in the “unprecedented ” barrage, Israel’s police spokesperson, Mickey Rosenfeld, told The Independent, adding that it struck at the “very heart of Israel”.

“One woman was killed in Rishon LeZion [ just south of Tel Aviv], “ he said adding: “It is one of most intense rocket strikes on Tel Aviv, one of the most serious and largest in years, striking into the very heart of Israel.”

Jon Sharman12 May 2021 07:41

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Israel ‘destroys Gaza City police headquarters’

Israeli airstrikes overnight have destroyed a number of key infrastructure buildings in Gaza City, including its police headquarters, the city’s authorities said.

Iyad al-Bozum, a spokesman for the Hamas-run interior ministry, said on Wednesday the police compound was blown up after being targeted by a series of Israeli airstrikes.

Shweta Sharma12 May 2021 06:54

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35 killed in Gaza, 5 in Israel as intense bombardment continues

Israel and Gaza remained locked in war-like escalations continuing into Wednesday morning, leaving at least a total of 40 dead on both sides as they traded bombardments.

Officials in Gaza said at least 35 Palestinians have died, including 10 children, mostly in airstrikes by Israel. The Israeli military claimed 16 of those killed were militants.

In Israel, 5 people have been killed so far, with the IDF saying “Israel is under attack.”

The IDF on Wednesday claimed it targeted and killed several top Hamas intelligence leaders, including Hassan Kaogi, head of the Hamas military intelligence security department, and his deputy Wail Issa.

Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus confirmed 1000 rockets were launched by Gaza at its territories but 200 of them did not cross the border.

Unconfirmed Israeli media reports say a seven-year-old girl was among those killed in the town of Lod, near Tel Aviv, by rockets from Gaza. A fierce confrontation took place in Lod during the night as Arab and Jewish residents clashed.

Shweta Sharma12 May 2021 06:29

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Benjamin Netanyahu declares state of emergency as riots and arson erupt in Israel

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night declared a state of emergency in the town of Lod, southeast of Tel Aviv.

A state of emergency was declared after police accused Arab residents in Tel Aviv of conducting “wide-scale riots” and arson in the city in support of the Palestinians.“Wide-scale riots erupted by some of the Arab residents and endangering communities,” the police said in a statement. “Vehicles were burnt and damage caused to property.”

Border police officers were deployed in the West Bank to the city of Lod after thousands of people participated in the funeral procession of 33-year-old Musa Hassuna, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who was reportedly gunned down by a Jewish Israeli.

Netanyahu also vowed to step up the offensive as Gaza unleashed a fierce late-night barrage of rockets towards the densely populated Tel Aviv, while protests continued.

Shweta Sharma12 May 2021 06:23

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