Israeli bombardment escalates as Gaza death toll rises

Israeli bombardment escalates as Gaza death toll rises

Israeli bombardment escalates as Gaza death toll rises

Written by Zulfick Farzan

12 May, 2021 | 6:19 pm

GAZA; A night of heavy bombardment on the Gaza Strip has continued into Wednesday (12) morning as Israeli forces launched intensive raids on various locations across the besieged coastal territory.

Local sources said Israeli fighter jets bombed sites belonging to Palestinian armed groups, in addition to security and police buildings. In Gaza City’s Tel al-Hawa neighborhood, a pregnant woman, Reema Telbani, and her child were killed by an Israeli attack on their home.

Gaza’s ministry of health said the overall death toll since the latest offensive began stood at 53, including 14 children. More than 300 others have been wounded.

Six Israelis have also been killed. The Israeli army said that about 1,500 rockets have been fired from Gaza towards various locations in Israel and they have added reinforcements near the enclave’s eastern lands.

The Israeli army and intelligence said they have carried out air strikes that killed members of al-Qassam Brigades in Gaza City and Khan Younis that were close to Hamas’s shadowy commander Muhammad Deif.

Deif, whose whereabouts and presence is shrouded in secrecy, has survived five assassination attempts by Israel over the years and is their most wanted man.

The ministry of health in the Gaza Strip said the number of Palestinians killed has now risen to 53, including 14 children and three women.

At least 320 others have been wounded.

The armed wing of the Islamic Jihad group said in a statement it has fired more than 100 rockets early Wednesday morning towards Tel Aviv and the surrounding areas.

A spokesman for al-Quds Brigade said three of its commanders were killed by Israeli air raids in the Gaza Strip on Monday, and identified them as Sameh Fahim al-Mamluk, Kamal Taiseer Qureiqe’, and Mohammed Yahya Abu Atah.

“We will continue to respond to Israel’s aggressions,” the spokesman said. “We will not back down on our resistance no matter what the price is.”

Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz said there is no specific date to end Israel’s offensive on the Gaza Strip.

“The IDF [Israeli army] will continue to strike and bring complete silence for the long-term,” he said, speaking from the southern city of Ashkelon.

“In Gaza, towers are falling, factories are collapsing, tunnels are being wiped out and commanders are being assassinated.”

Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus said he expected the fighting to intensify and, when asked about unconfirmed reports that Hamas might seek a ceasefire, said: “I don’t think my commanders are aware, or particularly interested.”

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