For the fifth night in a row, there have been shootings between the Israeli army and Palestinian militants of the Islamist radical movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip. There were no casualties on the Israeli side, but ten people from the same family were killed in Gaza. A US government mediator has now arrived in Tel Aviv in an attempt to negotiate a ceasefire.
Hamas militants fired at least 200 rockets at Israeli cities in the south last night. Much was intercepted by Israeli anti-aircraft guns, some missiles hit houses and other buildings, but there were no casualties.
The Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip last night was deadly. One bomb landed on a three-story building in the Palestinian refugee camp Al-Shati near Gaza City. According to Palestinian sources, ten people from the same family were killed: two women and eight children. It is said to be the deadliest airstrike since the violence flared up at the beginning of this week.
In total 132 people in Gaza were killed in the Israeli bombings this week. Including more than 30 children and 20 women. In Israel, eight people have been killed so far, including a soldier and seven civilians.
While in many mixed Israeli cities, Jews and Arab Israelis are killing each other, the conflict is also spreading more and more to the West Bank. That Palestinian territory is largely occupied by Israel. Hamas – unlike in the Gaza Strip – is not in control. Yesterday hundreds of young people threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the Israeli security forces. They responded with bullets and shot 10 protesters.
So there is no prospect of improvement for the time being. However, the American envoy Hady Amr has arrived in Tel Aviv. The diplomat was sent by President Biden’s government in the hope of de-escalating the situation and negotiating a ceasefire. Egypt is also trying to mediate between the Palestinians and the Israelis.