Thousands flee homes as Israel continues air raids on Gaza
The UN says 10,000 Palestinians have been forced out of their homes in the Gaza Strip, as the death toll from Israeli strikes on the enclave reaches 126.
Israel continued to bombard the Gaza Strip with air raids and artillery shells on Friday, as it stepped up the deployment of troops and tanks near the besieged Palestinian enclave.
At least 126 Palestinians, including 31 children, have been killed and 920 have been wounded since hostilities flared up on Monday. Hundreds of Palestinian families have taken shelter in United Nations-run schools in northern Gaza to escape Israeli artillery fire.
The UN has said it estimates approximately 10,000 Palestinians have left their homes in Gaza amid the Israeli offensive.
Despite international calls for an immediate halt of all hostilities, including from United Nations chief Antonio Guterres, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged the offensive will continue “as needed to restore calm in the state of Israel”.
Hamas fired another barrage of rockets towards Israel, hitting the city of Ashkelon in the early hours on Friday.
At least six Israelis and one Indian national have been killed. The Israeli army said hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza towards various locations in Israel and they have added reinforcements near the enclave’s eastern lands.
Meanwhile, violence is brewing between Israeli settlers and Palestinian citizens in the occupied West Bank, as well as in Israel. In another potential escalation, at least three rockets were fired from southern Lebanon towards Israel.
Here are the latest updates:
Senator Bernie Sanders calls for ‘evenhanded’ approach
Senator Bernie Sanders said in a New York Times guest essay that the US must consider the rights of Palestinians as Israel’s bombardment continues.
“We must change course and adopt an evenhanded approach, one that upholds and strengthens international law regarding the protection of civilians, as well as existing U.S. law holding that the provision of U.S. military aid must not enable human rights abuses”, he wrote.
"Israel has the absolute right to live in peace and security, but so do the Palestinians," Sen. Bernie Sanders writes in a guest essay. "We must recognize that Palestinian rights matter. Palestinian lives matter." https://t.co/YYfuPDh8uC
— The New York Times (@nytimes) May 14, 2021
“In this moment of crisis, the United States should be urging an immediate cease-fire. We should also understand that, while Hamas firing rockets into Israeli communities is absolutely unacceptable, today’s conflict did not begin with those rockets.”
West Bank: 11 Palestinian civilians killed
Israeli forces have killed a total of 11 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank during confrontations.
According to a statement by the Palestine Red Crescent Society, its medical teams dealt with 11 fatalities and 1,334 injured cases in different parts of the occupied West Bank.
Second Lebanese protester killed
A second Lebanese protester who was injured earlier from Israeli gunfire during a pro-Palestinian rally at the Lebanese-Israeli border has died of his wounds, a Lebanese security source and local media said.
The protester’s identity was not revealed.
The United Nations Interim Forces in Southern Lebanon (UNIFIL) said it has launched an investigation to determine the facts and circumstances surrounding the deaths.