Israel news – live: Rockets fired from Syria as pro-Palestinian protesters storm border from Lebanon

Israel kills 10 Palestinian civilians, injures 500 in West Bank

Rockets were fired at Israel from Syria, defence officials in Tel Aviv said on Friday evening as “dozens” of people from Lebanon stormed across the country’s southern border.

The Israel Defence Forces said three rockets were fired from Syria, with one landing within the borders of Israel’s northeastern neighbour.

Meanwhile, footage broadcast live on social media platforms showed crowds of people in Lebanon making their way to the Israel border waving Palestinian flags.

The Israeli army confirmed the incident, asserting that its tanks had fired warning shots towards a number of “rioters” who had crossed into Israeli territory.

The border crossing unfolded after the death toll in Gaza rose on Friday following a fresh assault from the Israeli army that saw ground forces join the operation.

A total of 55 rockets were fired overnight in a coordinated effort that saw 160 planes from 12 different squadrons, as well as three brigade forces of infantry troops, operate together, Israeli army spokesperson Lt Col Jonathan Conricus said.

He said the assault was aimed at destroying an “underground tunnel system” used by Hamas operatives known as the “metro” in Gaza.

At least 137 Palestinians have been killed in the violence this week, with more than 30 children among the dead and 950 others injured, according to Palestinian health authorities.

Meanwhile, Lt Col Conricus said the death toll in Israel had risen to 8 after an elderly woman died overnight while running to a shelter.

The Israeli army spokesperson did not provide any update on whether a ground invasion would take place on Friday. However, he said that “Hamas’s rocket production capacity has been significantly  downgraded” following the fresh assault.

Militants have fired some 1,600 rockets towards Israel from Gaza in the last few days, according to the IDF. That is one-third the total fired in the 50-day-long war in 2014, a barrage James Cleverly, the UK’s Middle East minister, called “unprecedented”.

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Alastair Jamieson15 May 2021 01:18

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Israel’s military said some of the damage inflicted in Gaza had been caused by militant rockets that had failed to reach their target.

Tens of thousands in the enclave are without power, which the IDF said has been caused by Hamas shells falling short.

The statement came as Israel continued to bombard the zone with air raids and ground artillery.

Alastair Jamieson14 May 2021 23:16

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Death toll in Gaza rises to 126

The death toll in Gaza has risen to 126, including 31 children, with 950 injured, according to the latest figures from the Gaza health ministry.

In the West Bank, 11 people have been killed, the Palestinian Health Ministry announced.

Liam James14 May 2021 20:14

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Rockets fired from Syria at Israel

Three rockets have been fired from Syria toward Israel, defence officials in Israel confirmed.

Liam James14 May 2021 19:57

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US humanitarian aid to Palestinians ‘will continue’

Humanitarian assistance from the United States to Palestinians will continue, the White House confirmed.

Asked by a reporter if the US planned to review the decision to send $75m (£53m) in economic aid to Gaza and the West Bank in light of rocket attacks on Israel by Hamas, press secretary Jen Psaki said: “That was a donation to the Palestinian people.

“Hamas is a terrorist organisation and the Palestinian people are also suffering at the hands of this terrorist organisation and the rockets they have launched into Israel.

“So, no, the humanitarian assistance will of course continue.”

Liam James14 May 2021 19:47

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President Aoun condemns Israeli killing of Lebanese man

Lebanon’s president Michel Aoun condemned the killing of a Lebanese man by Israeli forces on the country’s southern border.

Mohamed Tahan, aged 21, died after being wounded by Israeli rocket fire during a protest in support of Palestine.

President Aoun said in statement that he “condemned the crime committed by the Israeli forces” and asked Lebanon’s minister of foreign affairs to inform the United Nations of the killing.

Liam James14 May 2021 19:31

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White House: US working towards ‘lasting peace’ in Gaza

The United States is working towards “lasting peace” in Gaza, the White House said as it reiterated a committment to “de-escalation” of the conflict.

White House spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters the administration was focused on leveraging US relationships in the region to end the crisis between Israel and Hamas diplomatically.

Asked whether President Biden was considering sending Antony Blinken, the secretary of state, to negotiate a ceasefire, Ms Psaki said: “We have an envoy from the state department who is over there playing a role in working towards lasting peace.”

“We will continue to evaluate whats needed and how we can play a constructive role.”

Liam James14 May 2021 19:17

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Israel border police block muslims from prayer at Al-Aqsa mosque

Israeli border police earlier blocked muslims in Jerusalem’s Old Town from heading to prayer at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

The Al-Aqsa mosque compound is the third holiest site in Islam, but is also very holy to Jews as Temple Mount. Nightly protests broke out at the start of the holy month of Ramadan over police restrictions at the site.

Israeli border police swing their batons at Muslim worshippers to prevent them from gathering for Friday prayers at the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa compound

Israeli border police swing their batons at Muslim worshippers to prevent them from gathering for Friday prayers at the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa compound

(AP)

Liam James14 May 2021 19:03

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UN chief issues plea for de-escalation

The head of the United Nations has called for all parties to de-escalate the conflict immediately or risk an “uncontainable” crisis.

“The ongoing military escalation has caused great suffering and destruction,” said a statement issued on behalf of Antonio Guterres by his Spokesperson.

“It has claimed scores of civilian lives, including, tragically, many children. The fighting has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis and to further foster extremism, not only in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, but in the region as a whole.”

Liam James14 May 2021 18:38

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‘This feels like civil war’: Israel’s mixed cities become the new frontline

Only the haunting wail of the rocket sirens that forces everyone to dive for cover, pauses the violence which snarls through Lod, in southern Israel, writes Bel Trew.

At sundown, the bitterly divided Arab-Jewish city teeters on a knife’s edge, separate to the brewing war between Gaza and the Israeli army just 40 km away.

The rocket barrages which rain down appear only a distraction from the real battle on the ground between Arab and Jewish residents of the area.

Full report below:

Liam James14 May 2021 18:19

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