The death toll on the Palestinian side rose to 24 on the second day of Israeli bombing of Gaza, with six children among the victims, reports the Gaza Health Ministry.
Some of the deaths occurred tonight in the Jabaliya refugee camp in the north of the Gaza Strip. Israel says it is not responsible for this and only attacks military targets. According to the Israeli army, Palestinian forces fired a missile that crashed in Gaza, killing civilians and children, writes AP news agency.
On the Palestinian side, the number of missile shelling by militants on Israeli cities has been increased. Israeli cities are being bombarded with missiles. Some 160 of the 350 launched missiles were intercepted, according to Israel, including the Iron Dome defense system. No fatalities have been reported on the Israeli side.
Egypt, meanwhile, is putting pressure on Israel to stop the bombing and has offered to mediate. One of the Egyptian involved in the ceasefire talks says he has hope that this will happen tonight or tomorrow morning, writes Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
The reason for the flared violence is the arrest of a senior member of the militant movement Islamic Jihad in the West Bank. Israel then said it had indications that a retaliatory attack was being planned from Gaza in response to that arrest. Then, with an air strike on an apartment complex, Israel liquidated the commander in Gaza who allegedly planned that retaliatory attack,
Since the liquidation, Palestinian militants have been firing missiles at Israel. Meanwhile, Israel is bombing targets of Islamic Jihad from the air.
Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians threaten to increase even further tomorrow, during a Jewish day of mourning. The Israeli police then allow Jews in Jerusalem to visit the Temple Mount, which includes the Al-Aqsa Mosque. The area of the Temple Mount is in fact under Israeli authority, even though it is not recognized by Palestinians and most other countries.
One of the visitors will be the far-right Israeli politician Itamar Ben-Gvir. “We cant give in to Islamic Jihad,” he tells Haaretz. “We are the trustees of Israel.”