Israeli-Palestinian conflict: why is there violence in Gaza and Jerusalem?

Israeli-Palestinian violence flares

Israeli-Palestinian violence flares

Israel has come under heavy global criticism for civilian casualties during three previous wars in Gaza, which is home to more than 2 million Palestinians.

Answering the question about Israel's intention to enter the Gaza Strip, the IDF spokesman said that the Israeli Army were ordered to be prepared.

Israel blamed an "internal communication" problem for the error - which briefly ignited fears of an Israeli invasion.

An envoy from Egypt, which traditionally has been involved in ending Israel-Gaza violence, arrived to talk to both sides as part of a broader global effort to put an end to the conflict.

"We believe that Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measures of freedom, security, dignity and prosperity", Mr Blinken said.

Israel has responded with hundreds of air strikes on Gaza, a densely populated and built up coastal strip in which the militants have embedded themselves within civilian populations. It fired its most powerful rocket, the Ayyash, almost 200 kilometers into southern Israel.

Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson Avichay Adraee told Anadolu Agency that he could not confirm the ground operation but could only say that an air and land attack has been launched on Gaza.

In Gaza, AFP photographers said people were evacuating their homes in the northeastern part of the enclave ahead of possible Israeli attacks, with Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, warning of a "heavy response" to a possible ground incursion. In southern Bat Yam, a Jewish mob beat an Arab resident with sticks, local media reported, and Arab shops were attacked.

Fighting between Israelis, Palestinians in Gaza Intensifies
Elad Goren, head of the civil department of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) during a briefing. Hours later, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield tweeted that the session would be held on Sunday.

The fighting cast a pall over the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, normally marked by family gatherings and festive meals.

Israel's air force launched multiple air strikes, targeting locations linked to Hamas, with the air force saying jets had struck a "military compound" of the group's "intelligence headquarters".

Heavy bombardments have brought down entire tower blocks.

In recent years, Palestinians have carried out a series of stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks that have killed or wounded Israeli soldiers and civilians.

"It will take time, but with great firmness, both defensively and offensively, we will achieve our goal to restore peace to the State of Israel", he said during a visit to an Iron Dome air defence batter.

Rockets light up the night sky as they are fired towards Israel from Beit Lahia in the northern Gaza Strip on May 14.

A Lebanese army source who requested anonymity said they suspected Palestinian groups were behind the rocket launches. A focal point of clashes was Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa Mosque, built on a hilltop compound that is revered by Jews and Muslims.

The latest wave of violent clashes between Israel and the Palestinians, the worst since 2014, was mainly sparked by an Israeli plan to evict some Palestinian families from a neighborhood in the disputed East Jerusalem.

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"Who would turn a cheek when their mere existence is being questioned", says Rep. Elaine Luria, who adds that she chooses to stand with Israel 'as an American Jew'".

Almost 1,000 border police were called in to quell the violence, and more than 400 people were arrested.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said some 750 suspects have been arrested since the communal violence began earlier this week.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue the operation, saying in a video statement that Israel would "extract a very heavy price from Hamas".

Mr Netanyahu said the violence was "unacceptable".

Argaman said Shin Bet is working with Israeli police and Border Patrol in those mixed cities.

"A short while ago, three rockets were fired from Lebanon into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of northern Israel", tweeted Israel Defense Forces (IDF). The rocket landed in the open desert but briefly disrupted flight traffic at the southern Ramon airport.

According to the Israeli Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Hamas rockets accidentally hit a power line in the Gaza Strip, leaving about 230,000 people without electricity.

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