Death toll in Gaza reaches 122 as Israel-Palestine conflict intensifies

Streaks of light are seen as Israel's Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel. Photo: Reuters

At least 10 more Palestinians were killed on Friday by Israeli security forces across the occupied West Bank, as protests erupted against Israel's aerial bombardment in Gaza and the possible eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem.

Gaza's health ministry says at least 122 Palestinians, including 31 children, have been killed and more than 900 wounded in the enclave since the latest round of violence began.

The Palestinian health ministry said nine Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during protests across the occupied West Bank on Friday, and another person was killed during an attempt to stab an Israeli soldier near an illegal Israeli settlement in Yabad near Jenin, reported Al Jazeera.

The total number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in confrontations in the West Bank is at least 12 since the start of this week.

However, a diplomatic source familiar with efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas tells The Times of Israel there is cautious optimism that one will be achieved in the next day or two.

The source says that this assessment among negotiators comes from experience brokering ceasefires to end previous rounds of violence between the sides and a "clear reading of the room."

On the other hand, Palestinian groups have fired more than 2,000 rockets so far from Gaza at Israeli territory since the beginning of the escalation of the conflict, almost 1,000 of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system, the Israeli army said on Friday, reported Sputnik.

At least seven people in Israel have been killed in the rocket attacks launched by armed groups in Gaza, Al Jazeera reports. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the Gaza offensive "as needed to restore calm in the state of Israel".

UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Jerusalem Lynn Hastings on Friday said that some 10,000 Palestinians have already fled their homes in the Gaza Strip as the result of the ongoing fighting.

"The UN is concerned about a potential increase in displaced people from continued fighting, which also heightens risk of the spread of COVID-19 in these schools, given inadequate social distancing conditions," said the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The conflict escalated after Israeli forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem amid eviction protests, which left scores of Palestinians and police officers wounded. Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza vowed to retaliate for Israeli assaults on Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Over 70 Palestinians in total are set to be evicted from Sheikh Jarrah in the coming weeks to be replaced by right-wing Jewish Israelis, reported The Times of Israel.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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