Palestinian health officials say 10 people have been killed in violence in the West Bank. The Israeli military says it has carried out airstrikes on a tunnel network in Gaza.
Israel’s military says more than 2,000 rockets have been fired from Gaza by Hamas since the militant Islamic group began its offensive on Monday. The army says it has intercepted roughly half of those rockets with its Iron Dome missile defense system, which identifies, tracks and engages potentially deadly incoming projectiles before these can reach their target.
The military claims to be under strict orders only to engage those incoming missiles that pose a serious threat. One missile is reported to cost about €66,000 ($80,000) — one of the reasons they are only launched when a projectile is heading towards a populated area.
US President Joe Biden’s administration has notified Congress that it intends to send $10 million (€8.2 million) in aid to Palestinian groups in Gaza and the West Bank. Though the administration did not identify specific groups, it said the money would go toward “people-to-people efforts to bring together conflict-affected groups” in projects fostering exchange and reconciliation with Israel.
The US State Department says the money is part of the $130 million that the US has pledged to Palestinians since Biden took office, marking a sharp reversal to the previous Trump administration, which cut off aid almost entirely.
The Israeli military claims that it has identified three rockets fired at it from Syria. Military sources say that one of the rockets landed inside Syria Friday evening, though gave no information on the others. Damascus did not comment on the claim.
Lebanon’s powerful Islamic militant group Hezbollah claims that a 21-year-old killed by Israeli forces Friday was a fighter with the group. The young man, who was Lebanese, was shot as he and others protesting in support of Palestinians attempted to breach a security fence at the the Lebanese-Israeli border.
The Palestinian Health Ministry has announced that the number of people killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank had risen to 10 and that the overall death count in Gaza had climbed to 122.
Current fighting in the West Bank has been described as the most intense since the second intifada, which raged between 2000-2005.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas holds Israel responsible for the escalating situation in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem, according to a statement by his office.
The Palestinian leader condemned what he said were “brutal and programmed killings” after 10 more people were killed Friday.
A spokesperson for Abbas called on the US and the UN Security Council to, “shoulder their responsibilities to stop these attacks in order to preserve security and peace in accordance with the provisions of international law.”
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for the immediate “cessation of hostilities” between Hamas and Israel, warning that the conflict could, “unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis” and “further foster extremism” across the entire region. A spokesperson said the UN is “actively involved” in mediating between Palestinians and Israel to resolve the conflict as soon as possible.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to meet Sunday. The body had planned to convene on Friday but the meeting was blocked by the US, leading China to accuse Washington of “ignoring the suffering” of Muslims.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Israeli forces to ensure that journalists can work safely and without fear.
It cited local media reports as saying that the destruction of the Al-Jawhara and Al-Shorouk office buildings in Gaza City had left roughly a dozen media outlets without offices in the enclave.
The statement by the CPJ made no mention as to whether any journalists had died in the strikes.
Demonstrators took to the streets in Berlin on Friday to protest Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip, the DPA news agency reports.
They waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans like “Freedom for Palestine” and “Stop the murder, stop the war.”
Local police said some 200 people took part in the rally. They were accompanied by more than 200 security forces.
Further rallies are set to be held on Saturday, which marks the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in 1948 from what is now Israeli territory.
The Palestinians call this the Nakba, or the catastrophe.
State media in Lebanon report that two demonstrators have been wounded when dozens rallied on the Lebanon-Israel border to protest against Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.
They were wounded “by two Israeli shells that fell near them after a number of youths tried to enter the town of Metula” in northern Israel, the National News Agency said.
The Israeli Defence Forces confirmed on Twitter its tanks had “fired warning shots at a number of rioters who had crossed into Israeli territory.”
French President Emmanuel Macron said “the urgency of a return to peace” in the Middle East during a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to a statement released by the Elysee, the president said Israel had “the right to defend itself” while stressing “his concerns about the civilian population in Gaza.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to press ahead with more attacks against Hamas in Gaza.
‘They attacked our capital, they fired rockets at our cities. They’re paying and will continue to pay dearly for that,’ he said after talks at the Israel Defence Forces headquarters in Tel Aviv.
At least seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank, including one who attempted to stab an Israeli soldier, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Violence in the West Bank left over 100 Palestinians injured by Israeli forces using tear gas and rubber bullets, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent cited by news agency AFP.
Israeli forces opened fire to disperse protesters who crossed the Lebanese border with Israel, the IDF said.
According to KAN broadcaster, dozens of Hezbollah-backed rioters had marched near the border fence.
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