Israeli fighter jets have attacked high-rise buildings and other targets in the Gaza Strip as Palestinians in the besieged enclave woke up on Thursday to mark the Eid al-Fitr religious holiday under relentless aerial bombardment.
Since the Israeli offensive began late on Monday, Gaza’s health ministry says at least 69 people, including 17 children, have been killed. More than 390 others have been wounded.
At least six Israelis have also 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.
There have also been more violent confrontations between Jewish Israelis and Palestinian citizens of Israel in several cities inside Israel.
Here are the latest updates:
More than 1,600 rockets have been launched from Gaza at Israel since the latest flare-up of fighting
began earlier this week, according to Israel’s military.
Around 400 went down over Gaza, spokesman Jonathan Conricus said. The success rate of Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defence system continues to average around 90 per cent at intercepting rockets, he added.
Israel’s military has attacked around 600 targets in the Gaza Strip, including rocket production and storage facilities.
A tunnel was also targeted that Conricus said was used partially to hide fighters and was built under a school in a populated area.
The city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip has been hit by a fresh Israeli air raid, while a barrage of rockets were launched from Gaza towards Israeli cities close to the enclave, Al Jazeera’s Nida Ibrahim, reporting from Ramallah, said.
“Gaza is a relatively small piece of land with two million Palestinians – one of the most condensed areas in the world so you can imagine the impact of these targets,” said Ibrahim.
“It is also such a closed zone the chances of hitting civilians gets very high as Palestinians can tell you from previous wars,” she added.
What started out as protests against forced expulsions in a Palestinian neighbourhood has turned into an Israeli crackdown that’s engulfed much of occupied East Jerusalem, including holy sites like Al Aqsa Mosque.
But Sheikh Jarrah is just one neighbourhood, and displacements are unfolding across the occupied territories.
As the reverberations in Sheikh Jarrah spread beyond, how will it impact the future of Palestinians in Jerusalem?
Britain’s minister for the Middle East has urged “both sides to take a step back” from the brink of what he described as a terrible escalation.
“We have seen however an unprecedented level of rocket attack into Israel,” James Cleverly, a junior foreign minister who deals with the Middle East and North Africa, told Sky News. “We want to see the rocket attacks stop.”
Israel’s military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said attacks on Gaza will continue as Israel prepares for “multiple scenarios”.
“We have ground units that are prepared and are in various stages of preparing ground operations,” he told reporters Thursday.
Report by Al-Jazeera::