News ID: 90150
Publish Date : 11 May 2021 - 21:47
Settlers Scurry Into Shelters as ‘Iron Dome’ Fails
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (Dispatches) — A confrontation between the occupying regime of Israel and Palestinian resistance movements sparked by weeks of Israeli aggression in Jerusalem Al-Quds escalated Tuesday. The Zionist regime unleashed a wave of indiscriminate airstrikes on Gaza, martyring at least 26 Palestinians, while resistance fighters barraged southern Occupied Palestine with hundreds of rockets, killing two Zionists.
Since sundown Monday, nine children and a woman were martyred along other civilians and fighters in Gaza, most by airstrikes, health officials there said.  
At least two Zionists were killed by rockets fired from Gaza in the southern city of Ashkelon — the first Israeli deaths in its current escalation of violence. The Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon said that it treated 74 casualties, including two seriously wounded and two in moderate condition.
After the overwhelming Palestinian retaliation, hardline Zionist prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said officials decided to "increase both the strength and rate of the strikes” against the Gaza Strip.
Egypt was reportedly trying to broker a ceasefire, but the cycle of violence was gaining momentum. Even before the deaths, the Zionist military said it was sending troop reinforcements to the territories near Gaza and the war minister ordered the mobilization of 5,000 reserve soldiers.
The barrage of rockets and airstrikes was preceded by hours of unprecedented attacks by Israeli security forces on Palestinian worshipers Monday, including dramatic storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site to Muslims. The current escalation, like previous rounds, including the last intifada, or uprising, has been fueled by Israeli infringement on Al-Quds, which is at the emotional core of the long conflict.
In a sign of widening unrest, hundreds of residents of Arab communities across Occupied Palestine staged overnight demonstrations denouncing the recent actions of Israeli security forces against Palestinians. It was one of the largest protests by Palestinian citizens in the occupied territories in recent years.
"In response to the enemy’s action to target the houses and members of the resistance, we staged the biggest-ever attack against” the occupying regime of Israel as part of "Operation Al-Quds Sword”, Hamas said in a statement announced.
They came as the occupying regime of Israel carried out dozens of airstrikes, including two that targeted high-rise apartment buildings.
At midday, an airstrike hit an apartment building in central Gaza City, sending terrified residents running into the street, including women and barefoot children.  
An earlier airstrike struck another high-rise in the city as people were conducting dawn prayers, martyring a woman, her 19-year-old disabled son and another man, residents said. Health officials confirmed the deaths.
Ashraf al-Kidra, spokesman for the Gaza Health Ministry, said a total of 26 people, including nine children and the woman, were killed and 122 people were wounded. He said the occupying regime of Israel’s "relentless assault” was overwhelming the health care system, which has been struggling with a COVID-19 outbreak.
The escalation comes at a time of

 political limbo among the Zionist regime.
Netanyahu has been caretaker prime minister since an inconclusive parliamentary election in March. He tried and failed to form a coalition regime with his hardline and ultra-Orthodox allies, and the task was handed to his political rivals last week.
One of those rivals is Israel’s war minister, who is overseeing the Gaza campaign.  
The current round of Israeli violence in Al-Quds coincided with the start of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in mid-April.
Critics say heavy-handed measures helped stoke nightly unrest, including a decision to temporarily seal off a popular gathering spot where Palestinian residents would meet after evening prayers. Another flashpoint was the East Al-Quds neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where dozens of Palestinians are under threat of eviction by the occupying regime.
Over the weekend, violent attacks by Israeli forces and settlers on Palestinian worshipers at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound during Laylat al-Qadr, the most sacred night in Islam, amid Ramadan drew widespread condemnation.  
Over several days, Zionist forces fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets at Palestinians in the compound. At times, they fired stun grenades into the carpeted mosque.
On Monday evening, Hamas began firing rockets from Gaza in retaliation for strikes on the besieged enclave as well as its aggression on Al-Quds, setting off air raid sirens in many illegal settlements.  
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a Zionist military spokesman, said Gaza militants fired more than 500 rockets at the occupying regime.
The rocket fire was so intense that the regime’s vaunted Iron Dome rocket-defense system was overwhelmed. At midday, a barrage of some 10 rockets whizzed above the southern city of Ashdod, filling the skies with streaks of white smoke.
According to the Israeli army, until Tuesday noon, a whopping 360 rockets had been flown towards the occupied territories, a sheer 250 of them passed right through the Iron Dome.  
Israeli outlets also noted how the situation governing the occupying regime had caused the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to suffer a plunge.
Amid the explosive situation surrounding the occupied territories, the Israeli army asked the settlers in Ashkelon to remain in rocket shelters until further notice.
In Gaza, most of the casualties were attributed to airstrikes. Seven of the deaths were members of a single family, including three children, who were martyred in an airstrike in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanoun.  
Dozens of mourners took part in the funeral of Hussein Hamad, an 11-year-old boy who was among the martyrs.
The Zionist regime struck scores of Gaza homes in its 2014 war with Hamas, claiming it was aiming at resistance fighters. The practice drew broad international condemnation at the time.
The occupying regime’s tactics in Al-Quds have drawn angry reactions from the Muslim world. Saudi Arabia on Monday finally broke its silence, condemning attacks by Israeli forces against the sanctity of Al-Aqsa and the safety of its worshippers.

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