Hamas fires rockets at Jerusalem, 20 people killed including 9 children
The battle on the Temple Mount turned into an open confrontation with Gaza after Hamas’s ultimatum to Israel. At 6 pm, more than 30 rockets departed from the Gaza Strip towards Jerusalem and the Israeli communities around the Palestinian enclave. Followed by dozens of other launches. “It was a response to the aggression and crimes against the Holy City and the prevarications against our people in the Sheikh Jarrah district and the al-Aqsa mosque,” Hamas claimed.
Israel’s response was immediate, which struck in Gaza, killing eight militiamen, according to the military spokesman. While the Hamas Health Ministry in Gaza spoke of 20 people killed in the north of the Strip, including nine minors. At least seven family members, including three children, were killed in an explosion in northern Gaza whose origins are unknown.
For the Israeli army, they died “due to a wrong launch of the terrorists”. In the evening, the spokesman for the EU’s external action service asked that “the significant increase in violence in the occupied West Bank, in East Jerusalem and Gaza and its surroundings immediately cease. The launch of rockets from Gaza against civilian populations in Israel is completely unacceptable and fuels escalation dynamics.” He continued, saying that all leader shave a responsibility to take action against extremists. The status quo of sacred places must be fully respected. We reiterate our call on the parties to undertake to reduce the escalation. Further civilian casualties must be prevented as a matter of priority.
Meanwhile, Israel is also hitting military targets in the Strip. “Hamas has crossed a red line. Israel will strike with great power, we do not tolerate attacks on our territory, our capital, our citizens and our soldiers. Those who attack us will pay a heavy price,” said outgoing Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu. Among the targets hit rocket launchers and two Hamas positions. “Eight terrorists were hit in the Gaza Strip,” said an Israeli army spokesman. Law enforcement officials have decided to evacuate people to the Old Town Wailing Wall. Even the deputies of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, have left the courtroom and the building.
All while in the eastern part of the city, clashes continue between Palestinian protesters, who for days have opposed the expropriations at the hands of Israeli settlers in the eastern part of the Holy City, and the police. Even today there are new incidents on the Esplanade of the Mosques, with stone throwing to which the agents are responding with deafening grenades and rubber bullets. The Red Crescent reports that at least 305 people were injured in the clashes, of which 7 are serious.
Despite the massive presence of police in riot gear, due to the violence recorded in recent days, the clashes resumed as early as 8 am, local time, with stone throwing by demonstrators who spent the night in the sacred complex of the city. Offensive to which the police responded with the use of stun grenades and rubber bullets. The ambassador of the European Union to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, said he was “extremely concerned” by the spiral of tension between Israelis and Palestinians in East Jerusalem.
Of the 305 injured, Red Crescent officials report, 7 are in serious condition, while over 220 have been hospitalized in a hospital in East Jerusalem or in a field hospital set up near the site of the protests. The al-Makassed hospital in East Jerusalem, media reports, has proclaimed a state of emergency, while Palestinians injured in clashes with Israeli police continue to flow in. Among those who have been involved in the clashes in recent days, UNICEF reports, there are also many children: “In the last two days, 29 Palestinian children have been injured in East Jerusalem, including in the Old City and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Eight Palestinian minors have meanwhile been arrested. Among the injured, even a one-year-old child. Some children, who were taken to hospital for treatment, had head and spine injuries. UNICEF has received reports that ambulances have been prevented from arriving on site to assist and evacuate the injured and that an on-site clinic has been hit and searched, “said Ted Chaiban, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, and Lucia Elmi, the agency’s special representative in Palestine.