May 13, 2021

Israel-Gaza: Fears of war as violence escalates

The deadly exchange of fire between Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli military has escalated significantly, with the UN fearing a "full-scale war".

More than 1,000 rockets have been fired by Palestinian militants, Israel says.

Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes on Gaza, destroying three tower blocks and killing senior Hamas officials.

At least 53 Palestinians and six Israelis have been killed since Monday.

That includes 14 Palestinian children caught up in the conflict.

UN Secretary General António Guterres said he was "gravely concerned" by the ongoing violence.

In a phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken condemned Hamas rocket attacks but said Israel had an obligation to avoid civilian casualties.

He said he had sent Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hady Amr to meet both sides.

The fighting erupted on Monday night after weeks of rising Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem which culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by Muslims and Jews.

(BBC News)

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