News ID: 90192
Publish Date : 14 May 2021 - 21:48
GAZA/AL-QUDS (Dispatches) – The occupying regime of Israel pummeled Gaza with artillery fire and airstrikes on Friday as it targeted Palestinians to try to stop persistent rocket retaliation against Zionist targets.
The fresh aggression martyred 13 Palestinians, including a mother and her three children whose bodies were pulled from the rubble of their home, health officials in Gaza said.
The Zionist operation, purportedly aimed at destroying tunnels, included 160 aircraft as well as tanks and artillery firing from outside the Gaza Strip, the occupying regime’s military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan Conricus said.
Palestinian rocket barrages against southern occupied territories swiftly followed on the fifth day of the most serious fighting between Israel and Gaza resistance fighters since 2014.
Egypt was leading efforts to secure a ceasefire amid fears the conflict could spread. Security sources said neither side appeared amenable so far but a Palestinian official said negotiations had intensified on Friday.
Palestine’s Al-Quds TV, citing a report by Israel’s Channel 12 television channel, said Tel Aviv had rejected Hamas’ insistence that the ceasefire should include Jerusalem Al-Quds.
Saleh Aruri, an exiled Hamas leader, told London-based Al-Araby channel early Friday that the resistance movement had turned down a proposal for a three-hour lull to allow for more negotiations toward a full ceasefire.
Haaretz, citing military sources, reported that the Zionist army seeks to limit operations in Gaza to focus on the equally grave internal situation in Lod, Bat Yam, Acre and other occupied cities.
Hamas launched its rocket attacks on Monday in retaliation for violent Zionist attacks on Palestinians in Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site, in Jerusalem Al-Quds.
Violence has since spread to cities where Zionists have attacked Arabs in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where health officials said five Palestinians had been martyred on Friday.
Friday’s media reports said Israeli groups were planning further attacks on Palestinians residing in the occupied territories after settler mobs roamed the streets, looked for Arabs and viciously attacked them while Zionist forces stood by and watched.
"Bring everything, knives, gasoline. Don’t be scared, we are the chosen ones,” one message seemingly on a Signal group chat named ‘The Underground Unit’ with several hundred members read.
"Good job at Bat Yam yesterday,” another message read, referring to a spate of violence in the occupied city, where Zionists pulled a man they believed

 to be Palestinian from his car and violently beat him unconscious live on Israeli television on Wednesday night.
At least 122 people have been martyred in Gaza, including 31 children and 20 women, and 900 others wounded, Palestinian medical officials said.
Among eight dead in Occupied Palestine were a Zionist soldier patrolling the Gaza fence, Israeli authorities said.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said there were reports of more than 200 housing units destroyed or severely damaged in Gaza and hundreds of people seeking shelter in schools in the north of the coastal enclave.
Dozens of mourners took part in the funeral of six people - members of two families whose houses were hit by Israeli airstrikes on Thursday - in the southern Gaza town of Rafah.
Holding the cloth-bound body of his 19-month-old nephew in his arms, Khamees al-Rantissi said their house was bombed without prior warning. "What was this child doing? What threat did he pose for Israel?” Rantissi asked.
Zionist Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday the campaign "will take more time”. Israeli officials said Hamas, Gaza’s most powerful resistance movement, must be dealt a strong blow before any ceasefire.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to publicly discuss the issue on Sunday after the United States blocked a push by China, Norway and Tunisia for a public, virtual meeting of the council on Friday.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said he hoped waiting a few days would allow for "diplomacy to have some effect and to see if indeed we get a real de-escalation”.
Blinken’s remarks and Washington’s intervention to block the UN meeting appeared to be coordinated with Israel in order to give the regime enough time to carry out more attacks on Gaza where the death toll rises by the hour.
The Pentagon said it has pulled 120 U.S. military and civilian personnel from Occupied Palestine amid the military escalation.
The Israeli military’s build-up of forces on the Gaza fence has raised speculation of a possible repeat of ground invasions during the regime’s wars in 2014 and 2009. But Israel is loath to risk a sharp increase in military casualties on Hamas turf, Reuters reported.
Hamas said Friday it targeted the Zionist regime’s Iron Dome missile stations and an Israeli airbase used by to bombard civilian targets in the besieged Gaza Strip.
"We fired a volley of Sejjil missiles at the Hatzerim air base from which the occupation warplanes flew to bomb civilians in Gaza,” the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, said in a statement.
The group said it also attacked a chemical factory in Nahal Oz kibbutz in the Negev desert with Shihab drones.
The announcement followed an earlier statement by Hamas that it had launched a number of "suicide drones” carrying explosive payloads into southern occupied territories from the Gaza Strip. The Israeli military claimed downing two such drones.
Rocket sirens were sounded in Ashdod, Sderot and the Sha’ar Hanegev region on Friday after a night of intense fighting as rockets whizzed above the occupied cities.
Hamas said it has launched at least 250 rockets into Israeli-occupied territories in the last few hours in response to the Israeli regime’s bombardment of Gaza.
The Zionist military said that so far, some 1,800 rockets have been fired at the occupied territories.
Major airlines have suspended flights to Occupied Palestine and at least two owners of tankers delivering crude oil asked to divert from Ashkelon to the port of Haifa, farther north of Gaza, because of the conflict, shipping sources said on Friday.
A senior politician with a resistance movement said Friday the Palestinian missiles raining down on the Israeli-occupied territories herald an end to the regime’s "invincibility” myth and a new chapter in the history of the Muslim world.
Hadi al-Ameri, secretary-general of Iraq’s Badr Organization, held separate phone talks with leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to voice the Iraqi nation’s solidarity with the Palestinians.
"Today, a new equation has emerged, and that is missile for missile. Thank God, the missiles of the resistance have flown over the entire occupied Palestinian territories,” said the Iraqi politician. "God willing, we will stand with you in this holy battle, which belongs to the entire Muslim Ummah.”
Across the world, police fired teargas to disperse hundreds of people protesting in Kenya’s capital Nairobi on Thursday against the Israeli bombing of Gaza.
Venezuela also called on the United Nations to take action against the Zionist regime’s "unacceptable” aggression against the Palestinian people.

* Comment: