The violence in Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip is escalating. Days-long protests by Palestinians against the eviction of families to make way for Jewish settlers have resulted in missile attacks between Israel and the Gaza Strip. Israel has announced that it has killed three members of the Palestinian Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip. According to Hamas, one of their commanders died.
The Israeli army says only military targets are being attacked in Gaza. Local journalists report on Twitter that Israel is preparing for a possible ground offensive. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu believes that Hamas has crossed “the red line” and that his country will “respond vigorously.” “We will not tolerate attacks on our territory, our capital, our citizens and our military. Those who attack us will pay a great price.”
Hamas gave Israel an ultimatum earlier Monday. If the country did not remove the security forces and settlers from an Arab neighbourhood in Jerusalem, Hamas would attack. Meanwhile, the group has fired several missiles, one of which has certainly been intercepted by anti-aircraft guns. As air alarms howled in Jerusalem and surrounding areas, the Israeli police evacuated the parliament complex and hundreds of Jewish believers were evacuated at the Wailing Wall.
Reporter Ralph Dekkers is present at the riots in Jerusalem. Follow his live report here:
An Israeli attack on northern Gaza would have killed nine people, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Israeli victims of Palestinian missiles have not yet been known.
In addition, there are clashes between protesters and the police in Jerusalem. Palestinians throw stones, while police use flash grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets. By now 305 people have been injured, seven of whom are in danger. 200 people are treated in hospitals. Police report nine wounded officers.
The immediate cause of the violence is the planned expulsion of at least 60 Palestinian families in East Jerusalem. They have to give way to Jewish settlers. The Supreme Court has yet to rule on that. A lawsuit on this was supposed to take place on Monday, but its postponed.
Israel also celebrates Jerusalem Day on Monday, an annual holiday that remembers the conquest of East Jerusalem in 1967. In order to avoid further unrest, the authorities had already decided that Jewish groups were not allowed to come to the vicinity of the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount .