The unrest in Israel and the Palestinian territories continued to escalate last night. Since last night, the militant movement Hamas has fired over 200 missiles from the Gaza Strip at Israel. Much went towards the Israeli seaside resort of Ashkelon, just north of the Gaza Strip, but according to Israel, 90% of missiles have been intercepted.
Israel reports that one missile hit an apartment building in Ashkelon. There would be six wounded. This morning, the Israeli army launched new air strikes on the Gaza Strip.
According to the military, 130 attacks have been carried out so far, with fighter planes and drones. In doing so, 15 members of Hamas and Islamic Jihad died, says Israel. According to the Palestinians, the death toll has risen to 24, including 9 children.
In the video below you can see both the firing of missiles by Hamas and explosions in Gaza by Israeli air strikes:
Both the Israeli army and the Hamas movement claim to continue its shelling for the time being.
Threatening house evictions
The violence follows the unrest of the last few weeks in East Jerusalem. There were clashes between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli police. In confrontations on the Temple Mount, near the Al-Aqsamoskee, many hundreds of Palestinians were injured. Dozens of Israeli agents were also injured.
The immediate cause of Palestinian anger is the imminent expulsion of Palestinian families from homes in a district in East Jerusalem. The Israeli judge must give way to Jewish settlers.
Yesterday it came to a first day of shelling. Hamas fired missiles at several Israeli cities, including Jerusalem. It was the first time since 2014 that sirens went off because of incoming missiles.
Yesterday was restless in other areas too, including in the occupied West Bank and also in Arab cities in Israel.
Countries around the world are calling for calm as violence between the Israelis and the Palestinians has resumed.
According to correspondent Ties Brock, the escalation cannot be separated from the political situation. Elections would be held in the Palestinian territories, but to the frustration of many Palestinians, they have been postponed. According to President Abbas, this happened because Israel does not allow Palestinians to vote in East Jerusalem.
In Israel, too, the political situation is unstable. There have been up to four parliamentary elections over the past two years, but each time it has not been possible to form a stable government. The escalation of violence does not make the situation any easier, which means that elections may have to be held again.