News ID: 90280
Publish Date : 16 May 2021 - 21:46
AP Says Iron Dome’s Interception Rate Down
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (Dispatches) — Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City flattened three buildings and martyred at least 42 people Sunday, medics said, as Zionist PM Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the occupying regime’s aggression would continue despite international outcry.
The Israeli violence marked the worst aggression here since the devastating 2014 war on Gaza.
The airstrikes Sunday hit a busy downtown street of residential buildings and storefronts over the course of five minutes just after midnight, destroying two adjacent buildings and one about 50 yards (meters) down the road.
At one point, a rescuer shouted, "Can you hear me?” into a hole in the rubble. "Are you OK?” Minutes later, first responders pulled a survivor out and carried him off on an orange stretcher. The Gaza Health Ministry said 16 women and 10 children were among those martyred, with more than 50 people wounded, and rescue efforts are still underway.
Earlier, the Zionist military said it destroyed the home of Gaza’s top Hamas leader, Yahiyeh Sinwar, in a separate strike in the southern town of Khan Younis. It was the third such attack in the last two days on the homes of senior Hamas leaders, who have gone underground.
The attacks show the Zionist regime is looking for a face-saving exit from its latest adventure - which has seen Gaza-based resistance groups respond with unprecedented missile barrages and gain international legitimacy - by claiming victory through a big hit.  
In its airstrikes, the occupying regime has leveled a number of Gaza City’s tallest office and residential buildings, alleging they contain Hamas military infrastructure. Among them was the building housing The Associated Press office and those of other media outlets.
The latest outbreak of Israeli violence began in East Jerusalem Al-Quds last month, when Palestinian protests broke out in response to the Zionist regime’s military tactics during Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers. A focal point of clashes was the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a frequent flashpoint that is located on a hilltop compound that is revered to Muslims.
The Israeli assault on impoverished Gaza, which is home to more than 2 million Palestinians and has been under an Israeli and Egyptian blockade since 2007, began last Monday.
The turmoil has also spilled over elsewhere, fueling protests in the occupied West Bank and stoking violence within Occupied Palestine where Zionists have attacked Arabs and their property. The aggression also sparked pro-Palestinian protests in cities across Europe and the United States, with French police firing tear gas and water cannons at demonstrators in Paris.
At least 192 Palestinians have been martyred in Gaza, including 58 children and 33 women, with 1,230 people wounded. Ten Zionists have been killed in retaliatory attacked by the Palestinian resistance.
The Israeli military said Sunday it struck Sinwar’s home and that of his brother Muhammad, another senior Hamas member. On Saturday it destroyed the home of Khalil al-Hayeh, a senior figure in Hamas’ political branch.
Hamas and the Islamic Jihad resistance movement have acknowledged 20 fighters martyred since the fighting broke out Monday.  
An Egyptian diplomat said the destruction of Hamas’ rocket capabilities would require a ground invasion that would "inflame the whole region.”  
Meanwhile, the Biden administration has affirmed its support for the occupying regime of Israel. American diplomat Hady Amr met with Zionist war minister Benny Gantz, who thanked the U.S. for its support.  
Hamas and other resistance groups have fired some 2,900 rockets into Occupied Palestine.  
The Associated Press said Israel’s interception rate appeared to have significantly dropped since the start of the conflict, when the occupying regime claimed 90% were intercepted. The news agency said the Zionist military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Abu Hamza, a spokesman for al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad resistance movement, said Sunday Palestinian fighters have put several advanced military hardware, including the Qassem missile, into operation.
They were utilized as resistance groups launched more than 150 projectiles at the occupied territories.
The Qassem apparently takes its name from Iran’s legendary commander General Qassem Soleimani who was an ardent supporter of the Palestinian rights before being assassinated in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad in January 2020.
Abu Hamza said indigenous Palestinian missiles can now strike targets in the occupied cities of Hadera, Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot, Netivot and other areas in the occupied lands.
On Sunday, resistance fighters responded by firing fresh barrages of rockets at Tel Aviv and the southern city of Be’ersheva.
"After threatening to fire rockets at Tel Aviv, Hamas has fired a heavy barrage of rockets from Gaza into central & southern Israel,” the Zionist military wrote in a post published on its Twitter page.
The sound of sirens was heard all over the southern and central occupied cities, including Ashdod, Ashkelon and Be’ersheva, followed by explosions.
Settlers dashed for bomb shelters as alerts warning of incoming rockets blared. Zionist medical staff said around 10 people were injured while running for shelters.
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters took to the streets of major cities across Europe to vent their anger at the Israeli crimes against the Palestinians. There were similar gatherings in the U.S. and Australia.
In London, over 100,000 demonstrators carrying placards reading "Stop Bombing Gaza” and chanting "Free Palestine” converged on Marble Arch, near the British capital’s Hyde Park, to march towards the Israeli embassy.
The police said nine officers were injured as they tried to disperse the crowd outside the Israeli mission, adding that 13 people were arrested.
"This time is different. This time we will not be denied any more. We are united. We have had enough of oppression,” Palestinian Ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot told the protesters. "Today we are saying enough, enough with the complicity.”
In Paris, police fired tear gas and water cannons to disperse a pro-Palestinian rally, which was held despite a ban by authorities.
"You want to prohibit me from showing solidarity with my people, even as my village is being bombed?” said Mohammed wearing a "Free Palestine” T-shirt.
Hundreds of people also took part in authorized protests in other French cities, including Lyon, Marseille, Montpellier, Toulouse and Bordeaux.
Protesters in the German capital, Berlin, shouted "Boycott Israel” and threw paving stones and bottles at the police, leading to several arrests. Other demonstrations took place in the cities of Frankfurt, Leipzig and Hamburg.
They came a few days after Israeli flags were burnt in front of two synagogues in the cities of Bonn and Muenster.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas vowed "unwavering” protection of synagogues, saying, "There must be no tolerance for attacks against synagogues in our country.”
In Madrid, some 2,500 people, many of them young people wrapped in Palestinian flags, marched to the city center, chanting slogans such as, "This is not a war, it’s genocide.”
"We want to ask Spain and the European authorities not to collaborate with Israel, because with their silence, they are collaborating,” said Ikhlass Abousousiane, a nurse of Moroccan origin.
Danish police violently arrested Palestinian supporters who were protesting in front of the Israeli embassy in Copenhagen and dispersed them with tear gas.
According to Anadolu news agency, the protesters were about to leave the subway station in Copenhagen for the Israeli embassy when they were attacked by police.
In Athens, around 500 people rallied, but there were minor scuffles after Greek police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd.
Shouting "Freedom to Palestine” and waving Palestinian flags, the participants marched to the Israeli embassy that had been cordoned off by police buses.
Similarly, the Australians marched in Sydney and Melbourne to condemn the Israeli attacks on Gaza. In Sydney, protesters chanted slogans like "Free, free Palestine” and "Free, free Gaza”.
"I see an uprising,” said Sydney protester Walla Abu-Eid. "I see people who are no longer going to remain silent. People who are fed up, people who are responding to oppression and violence by standing up for themselves.”

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