As it happened: Two Israelis, 28 Palestinians killed in Gaza-Israel fighting
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As it happened: Two Israelis, 28 Palestinians killed in Gaza-Israel fighting

Two Israelis and 28 Palestinians, nine of them children, killed; buildings as far north as Ashdod struck by 300 missiles from Gaza; IDF’s response has struck 150 Gaza targets

Welcome to the Live Blog

As tensions mount in Jerusalem and on the border with Gaza, we are following all the latest news, opinion and analysis on the situation.

Whether you have a view on the unfolding clashes or you’re on the ground and want to get in touch – we want to hear from you.

Drop us a comment below, contact us via social media, or send us an email to: editorial@jewishnews.co.uk – with ‘live blog‘ in the subject line.

 

A Palestinian protester during clashes with Israeli police at Damascus Gate on Saturday night (Photo: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

 

Jerusalem violence: how it began

Clashes broke out for a second consecutive night on Saturday between Israeli police and Palestinians on the Temple Mount amid rising tensions in Jerusalem’s Old City.

Thousands of Muslim worshippers returned to Jerusalem on Saturday night to mark Laylat al-Qadr, the most sacred night of the month of Ramadan, at the Al-Aqsa mosque upon the Temple Mount.

The clashes that subsequently broke out saw at least 17 Palestinians wounded, most of them by rubber-coated bullets, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

Israeli police detain a Palestinian man during clashes at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on Saturday night (Photo: Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

JLM condemns temple Mount ‘brutality’

The Jewish Labour Movement joined politicians and countries around the world in criticising the treatment of Palestinian worshippers on the Temple Mount over the weekend.

In a statement over the weekend the JLM said it was “appalled by the brutality shown to Palestinian worshippers at the Al-Aqsa mosque during Ramadan.

“The tensions in Israel have been heightened due to the threatened evictions of Palestinian families from Sheikh Jarrah.

“We are entirely opposed to efforts to expand settlements, demolish homes and evict Palestinians and will continue to work with all who promote peace, human rights, security and dignity for Israelis and Palestinians.”

Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl said thoughts were with “those who have been injured and we pray that they should have a speedy recovery.

“We call on all concerned to de-escalate the situation and to refrain from inflammatory actions and rhetoric.

Board calls to ‘de-escalate’ tensions, avoid inflammatory actions and rhetoric

Board of Deputies president Marie van der Zyl said thoughts were with “those who have been injured and we pray that they should have a speedy recovery.

“We call on all concerned to de-escalate the situation and to refrain from inflammatory actions and rhetoric.

The Holy City should be no place for extremism or violence, and should instead be a centre for peace and prayer. ”

VIDEO: Clashes on Temple Mount as Jerusalem Day marchers kept out of compound

Over 300 Palestinians and dozens of Israeli police officers have been wounded in clashes in the compound around the al-Aqsa mosque and across Jerusalem’s Old City

Israeli police cancel Jerusalem flag parade through Muslim quarter

A flag parade to mark Jerusalem Day will not proceed through the Old City’s Muslim quarter and Damascus Gate , Israeli police decided, after widespread clashes in the city that have seen hundreds of people wounded.

Hebrew media reported earlier in the day that the route of the march, in which thousands of religious nationalist Israeli Jews were expected to attend, would not be altered.

Read more here: https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/jerusalem-day-flag-parade-tensions-old-city/

 

British Jews put on high alert amid rising tensions

The UK’s Jewish community is on high security alert amid heightened tensions in Jerusalem.

Writing to Jewish organisations this week, the Community Security Trust said it has “taken reports of a small number of antisemitic incidents that appear to be related to the situation” in Israel and urged caution over the coming days.

This comes after hundreds of Palestinian demonstrators were injured and numerous Israeli police were hospitalised in violent clashes in Jerusalem this week.

Citing numerous demonstrations across the UK over the weekend against the clashes in Jerusalem, the CST said it is concerned about “increased anger and tension amongst UK anti-Israel groups and activists may in turn lead to a heightened risk of antisemitic activity directed at the UK Jewish community”.

Read more here: https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/uk-community-put-on-high-security-alert-amid-heightened-jerusalem-tensions/

Palestinians in London gathered next to Downing Street to rally against a law discussed in the Knesset on whether Jewish settlers can evict Palestinians by force from their homes. (Paul Quezada-Neiman/Alamy Live News)

VIDEO: Sirens in Jerusalem as Hamas launches ‘barrage of rockets’

Hamas fired dozens of rockets towards southern Israel and Jerusalem on Monday evening after several hundred Palestinians were hurt in clashes on the Temple Mount in recent days.

Israel responded with a series of airstrikes in Gaza, which resulted in numerous fatalities.

The Knesset, Israel’s parliament, was evacuated for the first time.

Read more here: https://jewishnews.timesofisrael.com/sirens-sound-in-jerusalem-as-hamas-launches-barrage-of-rockets/

Pro-Israel groups condemn Hamas rocket barrage

The Zionist Federation accused Hamas of “hypocrisy” tweeting that the terror group “condemns Israel for its riot dispersal tactics at Temple Mount but launches rockets toward their holy city. Seems that their hatred trumps sanctity.”

The We Believe In Israel grassroots campaign group also responded on social media to the reports of the seven Hamas rockets by condemning the “indiscriminate rocket attacks fired towards Jerusalem are taking place now which could harm Palestinians as well as Israelis.”

The group added:” This violence must stop now.”

The hard-line Israel Advocacy Movement tweeted: “Hamas orchestrated the riots on the Temple Mount. Now they’re firing rockets at Jerusalem. They are determined to drag the region into war.”

Palestinian media  claimed Israel had carried out a rocket strike in Gaza in response to the rocket attacks causing casualties.

Rockets from Gaza launched by Palestinian militants into Israel on Monday evening (Photo: Reuters/Mohammed Salem)

More sirens in the south

Sirens were heard across many southern Israeli towns and communities on Tuesday morning amid concerns of a fresh salvo of rockets from over the border in Gaza.

Sirens were heard in Ashkelon, Nahal Oz, Sderot, Karmia, Zikim, Kfar Silver and Yad Mordechai.

Magen David ambulance damaged

A Magen David Adom ambulance donated 12 years ago by a London-based couple was damaged overnight in an explosion caused by rocket fire from Gaza.

The vehicle, which is stationed in one of the Bedouin communities in the Negev desert, was given by Ghita and Norman Tarn to mark their golden wedding anniversary in July 2009.

Footage shared by Magen David Adom on social media showed debris inside the vehicle.

The ambulance driver received medical treatment from his team members and was taken to the Soroka Hospital in mild condition, MDA said.

Update: 1pm Israel time

Here is the latest as of 11am UK time:

• At least 345 rockets have been fired towards Israel from Gaza

• Of these, 255 crossed into Israeli territory, according to Magen David Adom

• Israel continued to respond with air strikes on Tuesday, with the saying it was targeting Hamas manufacturing and storage sites

• Health officials in Gaza said 24 Palestinians, nine of them children, had died in the air strikes. Israeli sources said 15 Hamas members were among the dead.

• 5,000 reserve troops have been mobilised in Israel as Defence Minister Benny Gantz ordered the “strengthening of the home front”

• Six Israelis were wounded when a rocket struck their apartment building in Ashkelon

Rivlin calls for more Arab support

President Reuven Rivlin (Photo by: JINIPIX)
President Reuven Rivlin (Photo by: JINIPIX)

Israel’s Arab leadership must speak out clear against the scenes of rioting and damage to synagogues seen in some parts of the country, President Reuven Rivlin has said.

“I appeal to you to do whatever you can to calm the situation,” he said in a call with Mudar Yunes, chair of the Association of Arab Heads of Local Councils.

“The Israeli people, Jews and Arabs alike, need to hear the Arab leadership speak out strongly and clearly against violence, against damage to synagogues, against this outburst of disorder.”

It follows scenes of rioting in several Israeli Arab towns, including this scene in a synagogue in the town of Ramle

Starmer, Nandy and Raab react to Israel-Palestine violence

Labour’s leader and shadow foreign secretary have responded to violence in the Middle East, with some taking issue that Keir Starmer failed to mention Hamas.

The Labour leader’s tweet was made at 8.10pm on Monday, hours after news reports showed missiles fired from the Gaza strip into Israel.

Nandy, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, called the deadly airstrikes “shocking and appalling”.

“Along with the rocket attacks launched by Hamas, we condemn all actions that endanger civilians in the strongest possible terms.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab issued statement at 7pm on Monday, saying:”The UK condemns the firing of rockets at Jerusalem and locations within Israel. The ongoing violence in Jerusalem and Gaza must stop. We need an immediate de-escalation on all sides, and end to targeting of civilian populations.”

Dominic Raab’s tweet

Ashdod under heavy fire

The skies above Ashdod are streaked with vapour trails at Tuesday lunchtime, with rockets being aimed further north along the Mediterranean coast.

Unverified footage being shared on Twitter shows a property in the city was struck within the last hour.

Update: 2pm Israel time

Rocket fire on Israel

• A barrage of rockets are falling on towns and communities across southern Israel at Tuesday lunchtime

• More than 255 missiles have been fired from Gaza, according to Magen David Adom

• Buildings in cities in Ashkelon and Ashdod, both on the Mediterranean coast, have been struck

• Six Israelis were wounded when a rocket struck their apartment building in Ashkelon

Air strikes in Gaza

• Health officials in Gaza said 24 Palestinians, nine of them children, had died as a result of Israeli air strikes

• Figures from the IDF said they had killed 15 Hamas members

• Israeli military chiefs vowed to continue air strikes throughout Tuesday

Other developments

• Up to 5,000 reserve troops are to be mobilised across Israel after Defence Minister Benny Gantz authorised the move

• There were scenes of rioting overnight in many Israeli towns with significant Arab populations. One synagogue in Ramle was ransacked.

• Efforts to form an anti-Netanyahu coalition government suffered a set back after United Arab List leader Mansour Abbas, a key partner, asked for more time amid the spiralling violence

West Bank attempted knife attack

While all the attention is on Gaza and southern Israel, all is not quiet elsewhere: the IDF said a man attempting a knife attack was “neutralized” in the northern West Bank.

The statement did not detail the suspect’s condition or where the attempted attack took place.

Ashkelon warning

People in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon are being warned to stay indoors and in shelters until further notice.

The warning comes amid reports that an Israeli woman in her 80s is in a critical condition after her apartment block was struck by a rocket from Gaza.

There are unconfirmed reports that she died from her injuries.

Two Israelis reported dead

Israel’s public broadcaster Kan says two people have died in Ashkelon from rocket fire that struck their homes.

 

Update: 3.30pm Israel time

Rocket fire on Israel

• A barrage of rockets is falling on towns and communities across southern Israel

• Two Israelis have died in Ashkelon after a rocket from Gaza struck a residential area

• Buildings as far north as Ashdod have been struck

• Over 300 missiles have been fired from Gaza, according to the IDF

Air strikes in Gaza

• Health officials in Gaza said 26 Palestinians, nine of them children, had died as a result of Israeli air strikes

• The IDF said 15 Hamas members and the head of Islamic Jihad’s special rocket unit are among those its has killed

• Israeli military chiefs vowed to continue air strikes throughout Tuesday

Other developments

• Up to 5,000 reserve troops are to be mobilised across Israel after Defence Minister Benny Gantz authorised the move

• There were scenes of rioting overnight in many Israeli towns with significant Arab populations. One synagogue in Ramle was ransacked.

• Efforts to form an anti-Netanyahu coalition government suffered a set back after United Arab List leader Mansour Abbas, a key partner, asked for more time amid the spiralling violence

‘Very complex’ in Ashkelon

A United Hatzalah volunteer in Ashkelon has described facing a “very complex situation” as rockets fell on residential areas in the southern Israeli town

There was a lot of damage and debris and the injured needed to be extricated from the debris before we could treat them.

The woman in critical condition was suffering from severe injuries to her lower body.

More in our news story here.

Premier League stars tweet support for Palestine

Manchester City players Benjamin Mendy and Riyad Mahrez, and Arsenal midfielder Mohamed ElNeny sent social media messages in support of Palestinians.

We’re increasing the air strikes, Netanyahu says

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says his country’s armed forces are in the “midst of a campaign”, adding:

Since yesterday afternoon the IDF has carried out hundreds of strikes against Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza. We’ve hit commanders and many high-quality targets.

He adds that, after a meeting with Defence Minister Benny Gantz and military chiefs, they had agreed to “further intensify the severity and pace of the attacks.”

In a message of his own, Gantz adds: “For every day of shooting at Israeli civilians, we will take them back years.”

Update: 5pm in Israel and Gaza

Rocket fire on Israel

• Two Israeli women have died after a rocket from Gaza struck a residential area in Ashkelon, in the south of the country

• Buildings as far north as Ashdod have been struck by rockets

• Over 300 missiles have been fired from Gaza, according to the IDF

Air strikes in Gaza

• Health officials in Gaza said 26 Palestinians, nine of them children, had died as a result of Israeli air strikes

• The IDF has dubbed its response “Operation Guardian of the Walls” and struck 150 targets

• It said 15 Hamas members and the head of Islamic Jihad’s special rocket unit are among those its has killed in targeted strikes

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to intensify air strikes throughout Tuesday

Other developments

• Up to 5,000 reserve troops are to be mobilised across Israel after Defence Minister Benny Gantz authorised the move

• There were scenes of rioting overnight in many Israeli towns with significant Arab populations. One synagogue in Ramle was ransacked.

• Efforts to form an anti-Netanyahu coalition government suffered a set back after United Arab List leader Mansour Abbas, a key partner, asked for more time amid the spiralling violence

UK’s Israel envoy ‘deeply saddened’ by deaths in Ashkelon, Gaza

Britain’s ambassador in Tel Aviv, Neil Wigan, has reacted to the rise in violence across Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Following 24-hours which featured hundreds of rockets fired from Hamas into Israel, with the IDF striking back with more than 100 airstrikes, Wigan said he was “deeply saddened by the tragic deaths in Ashqelon, and by civilian deaths in Gaza.

“Indiscriminate and unjustifiable rocket attacks on Israel must stop, to prevent further suffering.

Fears over funeral in Lod

Our colleagues over at the Times of Israel report police are on high alert in Lod ahead of the funeral of an Arab protester Mousa Hasouna.

He was shot dead overnight by a Jewish man during riots in the town. Several others were wounded in the incident.

Police say a suspect is in custody but Israeli Arab has called for “a mass outcry of rage” at the funeral, the Times says.

Disputes in Jerusalem ‘an excuse for violence’, ZF says

Paul Charney, the chair of the Zionist Federation in the UK, has issued a statement condemning the Palestinian Authority and Hamas “for seizing upon the civil dispute in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem as an excuse to incite and call for violence against Israel.”

He adds:

The desecration of Al Aqsa, the Temple Mount and the holy month of Ramadan by those radicals fuelled by their leaders’ calls for violence is inexcusable. Israel’s police have every right, indeed it is their duty, to use the means at their disposal to disperse the rioters and restore calm so that worshippers are able to worship freely at Al Aqsa.

Charney’s statement also refers to members of the far-right Jewish groups on the streets of Jerusalem on Jerusalem Day:

We also condemn the small fringe group of Jewish radicals who have seized upon this unrest to further fuel the flames. These radicals do not represent mainstream Israeli society and are indeed condemned by Israel’s government.

Insofar as the current rocket attacks against Israel by Hamas, we call upon politicians and the media to act responsibly and call out Hamas’s continued cynical exploitation of this unrest for what it is – terrorism.

Ceasefire in process — or refused?

Amid reports of fresh Israeli airstrikes in the north of Gaza, Egyptian interlocutors have been in action throughout Tuesday in an effort to secure a ceasefire.

Recent rounds of fighting have ended when diplomats from Egypt and Qatar — which have closer relations with the Hamas leadership in Gaza — have mediated.

But Israel’s Channel 12 reports Israeli officials have rejected the prospect of an immediate ceasefire.

Update: 6pm in Israel and Gaza

Rocket fire on Israel

• Two Israeli women have died after a rocket from Gaza struck a residential area in Ashkelon, in the south of the country. Several others have heavy injuries.

• Buildings as far north as Ashdod have been struck by rockets

• Over 300 missiles have been fired from Gaza, according to the IDF

Air strikes in Gaza

• Health officials in Gaza said 28 Palestinians, nine of them children, have died as a result of Israeli air strikes

• The IDF’s response, Operation Guardian of the Walls, has struck 150 targets. A new series of strikes in northern Gaza is underway

• Israeli military chiefs say 15 Hamas members and the head of Islamic Jihad’s special rocket unit are among those its has killed in targeted strikes

• Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to intensify air strikes throughout Tuesday

Other developments

• Up to 5,000 reserve troops are to be mobilised across Israel after Defence Minister Benny Gantz authorised the move

• There were scenes of rioting overnight in many Israeli towns with significant Arab populations. One synagogue in Ramle was ransacked.

• Efforts to form an anti-Netanyahu coalition government suffered a set back after United Arab List leader Mansour Abbas, a key partner, asked for more time amid the spiralling violence

Board, JLC and UJIA ‘concerned and saddened’

Three British Jewish organisations — the Board of Deputies, the Jewish Leadership Council and UJIA — have issued a joint statement in response to events in Gaza and southern Israel.

The statement says:

“We are deeply concerned and saddened by the escalation of violence, and the seemingly unremittent rocket fire against Israeli civilians by Hamas in Gaza. These attacks are abhorrent and, despite the protection of Iron Dome, have sadly already caused loss of life.

“Israel has the right to defend its citizens and it is the responsibility of Hamas to immediately halt all rocket fire from Gaza.

“British Jews have family, friends and colleagues in Israel, and our thoughts and prayers are with them, and with all those – both Israeli and Palestinian – who are suffering.

“We are working closely together to monitor the situation and provide whatever support we can to both the people of Israel and the UK Jewish community. The city of Jerusalem and its holy sites are sacred to Jews, Muslims and Christians around the world.

“Time and again we have seen how tensions in the Middle East play out here in the UK, affecting community cohesion and community confidence. It is vital that all those with public platforms in the UK use language responsibly to reduce rather than inflame tensions.”

West Bank attack

The IDF says two Palestinians have been shot dead after a failed attack at the Tapuach road junction in the central West Bank.

Local reports suggest the men attempted to use their car to ram into pedestrians.

A spokesperson said no IDF service personnel or civilians were hurt in the incident.

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