Hostilities between Israel and Hamas continued into the night and into the early morning hours. About 1,500 rockets have been launched from Gaza in the direction of Israeli cities since the hostilities between Hamas and Israel began. This was announced by the Israeli army. On Wednesday morning the same army had explained that since Monday morning a thousand rockets had been launched from Gaza. About 500 rockets have therefore been launched in the last 24 hours.
The rockets launched from the Gaza Strip reached the north of the Jewish state for the first time, in the Jezreel valley, where the sirens sounded. Alarm also in Tel Aviv, where thousands of citizens have had to seek shelter in shelters. There are no reports of injuries so far. The Israeli air force has carried out new raids on the territory of the Gaza Strip where, according to the local health ministry, they are at least 67 people have died since the start of hostilities. However, so far there are seven victims in Israel. Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz assured that operations will continue until the situation is “completely calmed down”. In the hundreds of operations in recent days, the air force of the Jewish state has killed four military commanders and dozens of Hamas officials. Two buildings considered bases of the Islamist movement were razed to the ground.
Abu Mazen: “Israel has exceeded limits, no more occupation”
The president of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas), claimed that Israel has “pushed all boundaries” with its attacks. According to Haaretz’s online version, Abu Mazen added that “Jerusalem represents a red line and there will be no peace or stability without the end of the occupation“.
Israel ready to invade Gaza
In the meantime, Israel prepares to invade the Gaza Strip: plans for a possible invasion will be presented today May 13 to the General Staff of the Israeli Armed Forces (IDF). Preparing them are the Gaza Division and the Southern Command of the IDF. The plans, reports the Times of Israel, will then be presented to the government, which is responsible for the final decision. In recent days, the IDF has amassed additional ground troops on the border with the Strip. These are soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade, the Golani Infantry Brigade and the 7th Armored Brigade.
Israel-Palestine, no joint declaration from the UN
The UN Security Council held another emergency meeting on the worsening of hostilities between Israel and Palestinians, again without agreeing on a joint statement due to US opposition, Israel’s key ally, diplomats said. According to several sources, 14 of the 15 Council members were in favor of adopting a joint declaration aimed at reducing tension. However, the United States saw the Security Council meeting as sufficient evidence of concern, diplomats told AFP on condition of anonymity, and they don’t think a statement would “help de-escalate” the situation.
“The United States has been actively engaged in behind-the-scenes diplomacy with all parties, and across the region, to try to reduce the situation. At this stage, a Council statement would be counterproductive,” said a familiar source. ‘with discussions, even speaking anonymously. A new meeting – this time public – could still be held within a few days. “The Palestinians have called for a public meeting”, a diplomat told AFP on condition that he was anonymous. The goal would be “to try to contribute to peace … and to have a Security Council capable of speaking out and calling for a ceasefire,” said another diplomat, again on condition of anonymity. Such a meeting could be organized as early as Friday by China, which currently chairs the Security Council.
In Washington, the chief diplomat Antony Blink announced that an American envoy will travel to the Middle East to try to calm the tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. But in a sign of frustration after the US move to block a Security Council statement, four Council members from Europe – Norway, Estonia, France and Ireland – have issued their own joint statement. “We condemn the launch of rockets from Gaza against civilian populations in Israel by Hamas and other militant groups, which is totally unacceptable and must stop immediately”, the statement read. “The large number of civilian casualties, including children, of Israeli air strikes in Gaza, and Israeli victims of rockets launched from Gaza, is worrying and unacceptable”.
“We call on Israel to cease settlement activities, demolitions and evictions, including in East Jerusalem “, they wrote. And the Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour published a letter to the leaders of the organization on Wednesday in which he pleaded with them to “act immediately to demand that Israel stop its attacks on the Palestinian civilian population, including in the Gaza Strip. “. He also asked them to demand that Israel “cease all other illegal Israeli actions and measures in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem, including the arrest of plans for the forced displacement and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from the city”.
When asked about the inability of the Council, the body in charge of world peace, to express itself on the Israeli-Palestinian clashes, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric expressed the hope of a turnaround soon. Declaring that there is a desire that the members of the Council find “the ability to make a declaration”, he added that “any international situation will always benefit from a strong and unified voice of the Security Council”.
United Nations envoy for the Middle East Tor Wennesland warned the meeting on Wednesday that “the situation has deteriorated since Monday … there is a risk of a spiral of violence”, according to a diplomatic source. . During a first emergency meeting on Monday, the United States also refused to support a text proposed by Tunisia, Norway and China calling on all parties to refrain from provocations. Renewed rocket launches and unrest in mixed Jewish-Arab cities have fueled the escalators fears that deadly violence between Israel and the Palestinians could escalate into war on a large scale.
US: “Israel has the right to defend itself, stop rockets from Gaza”
The US secretary of state Antony Blink announced that he had spoken with the president of the Palestinian Authority Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and called for an end to the launch of rockets from the Gaza Strip towards Israel. “I spoke with President Abbas about the situation in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza. I expressed my condolences for the loss of life. I stressed the need to end the missile attacks and to lower tensions”, he tweeted. the American official.