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26 Palestinians Killed in Strikes by Israeli Military

May 11, 2021
Flames and smoke rise during Israeli air strikes in the southern Gaza Strip May 11, 2021. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
The site where Palestinians were killed amid Israeli-Palestinian violence, in the northern Gaza Strip, 10 May 2021. (REUTERS/Mohammed Salem)

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported Monday evening that 26 Palestinians, among them nine children, have been killed in strikes by the Israeli military in Gaza. Two women were killed in Israel and wounding 10 others after Gaza militants fired hundreds of rockets towards Israel.

Israel’s military said that it had carried out strikes against armed groups and rocket launchers in Gaza, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described as a “red line”. Netanyahu added that rockets had been fired towards Jerusalem for the first time since 2014 and that Israel would respond with “great force.”

The latest violence follows days of violent confrontations at Al-Aqsa Mosque and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, where several Palestinian families faced eviction from homes claimed by colonial settler organizations. Videos of Palestinian citizens, such as the case of Mariam al-Ghawi, being forced to leave their homes spread on social media.

Monday morning began with confrontations at Al-Aqsa Mosque, where videos shared on social media showed Palestinians being attacked by Israeli military while praying inside the mosque. Palestine’s Red Crescent said more than 700 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli police, who fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas.

In response, Hamas threatened to strike and demanded that Israel remove its police from Al-Aqsa mosque and Sheikh Jarrah. Hamas set a 6 p.m. (1500 GMT) deadline for Israeli forces to be withdrawn.

Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Assistant Foreign Minister Nazih El Naggari held a meeting with Israeli ambassador to Egypt Amira Oron, reaffirming Egypt’s stance on rejecting the storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque by Israeli forces and calling for the respect of Islamic holy sites and the right of Palestinian civilians to practice their religious rites.

“Egypt rejects any illegal practices and acts that target the legitimate and inalienable rights of the Palestinians,” Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez said.

Amnesty International released a statement on Monday calling for an end to “the brutal repression” of Palestinians protesting forced displacement in occupied East Jerusalem, noting that “Israeli security forces have used repeated, unwarranted and excessive force against Palestinian protesters in occupied East Jerusalem following four days of violence in which 840 Palestinians were injured.”

“Evidence gathered by Amnesty International reveals a chilling pattern of Israeli forces using abusive and wanton force against largely peaceful Palestinian protesters in recent days. Some of those injured in the violence in East Jerusalem include bystanders or worshippers making Ramadan prayers,” Saleh Higazi, Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International, said.

On 8 May, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the world’s leading Sunni Islamic authority, released a statement on Saturday condemning “Zionist terror” after Israeli forces fired stun grenades and rubber bullets at Palestinians at Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Fifteen Palestinian families, which equals 37 households and around 195 individuals, in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood are currently under threat of forced eviction after a Jerusalem court rejected their appeal against an eviction order in February.

Nahalat Shimon International, a settler company, filed lawsuits to seize the homes of families in Sheikh Jarrah to confiscate Palestinian land or property and transfer it to settler groups. Forcible transfer of the occupied population is prohibited under international humanitarian law and constitutes a war crimes according to the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court, Amnesty International states.

Since the beginning of this year, Israel has demolished or seized more than 30 Palestinian structures in occupied East Jerusalem, which has forced more than 50 people into homelessness, according to the Electronic Intifada.

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