The Israeli military launched another series of air raids on the Gaza Strip early on Monday, hours after Israel’s caretaker Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the attacks on the Palestinian enclave would rage on.
Explosions rocked Gaza City from north to south in a bombardment that was heavier, wider and lasted longer than the air raids that killed at least 42 Palestinians and wounded dozens more on Sunday. One Palestinian was reported injured.
At least 198 people, including 58 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since the latest violence began a week ago. More than 1,300 Palestinians were also wounded.
Earlier, Hamas, the group that governs the Gaza Strip, fired rockets towards the Israeli cities of Ashkelon and Beersheba. Israel has reported 10 dead, including two children.
The UN Security Council met on Sunday to discuss the violence but failed to agree on even a joint statement of concern.
China said it was the United States that obstructed the council from speaking “with one voice”.
Here are the latest updates:
Gaza hospitals struggle with mounting wounded
Gaza-based journalist Youmna Al Sayed, reported in front of the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, a few minutes after she said an Israeli missile hit a car a few metres away from her killing three people.
“Hospitals are running out of resources, corridors and all departments, including the administration, are filled with beds and mattresses,” she said.
“Electricity comes from one to three hours at best, which is a crisis for hospitals as well while generators are running out of fuel,” Al Sayed said, adding that the power crisis triggered a water shortage as well.
Qatari, Egyptian, Saudi FMs speak with top US envoy
The foreign ministers of Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia have discussed the deadly Israeli air attacks on Gaza and Israel-Palestine tensions with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
‘Huge loss’: Experienced Gaza doctors killed in Israeli attacks
Medical workers and health organisations have decried the killing of two senior doctors – a neurologist and the head of internal medicine at Gaza’s largest hospital – in Israeli attacks on the besieged Palestinian enclave.
The deaths further exacerbate a medical staff and expertise shortage in the Gaza Strip, the result of a 14-year-long blockade that prevents freedom of movement, causes dire supply and equipment shortages and hinders medical advancement.
Read more here.
Erdogan urges pope to help end Israel’s ‘massacre’
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Pope Francis to help end what he called Israel’s “massacre” of Palestinians, which should be punished with sanctions, his office said.
Erdogan told the pope in a call that “Palestinians will continue to be subjected to a massacre unless the international community punishes Israel… with sanctions”, adding that the pope’s messages were of “great importance to mobilise the Christian world and the international community.”
Human rights groups ask ICC to investigate al-Jalaa tower strike
Reporters Without Borders and Amnesty International asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Israel’s bombing of a building housing media organizations, including Al Jazeera and the Associated Press, as a possible war crime.
THREAD This Sunday, we formally seized the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, about the bombing of local and international media installations and equipment in #Gaza since May 11, which we consider to be war crimes. https://t.co/nrk3k7rcsg pic.twitter.com/Lpxr7tNjCm
— Christophe Deloire (@cdeloire) May 16, 2021
“Deliberately targeting media outlets constitutes a war crime,” said RSF secretary-general Christophe Deloire. “By intentionally destroying media outlets, the Israel Defence Forces are not only inflicting unacceptable material damage on news operations. They are also, more broadly, obstructing media coverage of a conflict that directly affects the civilian population,” Deloire added.
The Israeli attack on al-Jalaa building destroying homes & @Aljazeera & @AP offices must be investigated as a war crime. The strike fits a pattern of Israel’s collective punishment of the Palestinian population.
— Amnesty Israel Palestine (@IOTPA) May 16, 2021
‘Our stocks are almost empty’: Gaza power plant spokesman
A spokesman for the power plant in Gaza said that large damage was done in many areas of the enclave.
“Electricity workers are not able to reach the areas where they are needed. Our teams are trying as much as they can to help people in need and provide electricity to houses and hospitals,” he said.
He added: “We are at a point that we cannot repair, because our stocks are almost empty. We urge everyone who can help to allow the electricity company to get the necessary tools for maintenance.”
The spokesman stressed that the company was suffering from a large shortage of cash, adding that they were also out of fuel for the plant.
Two refugee camps, a foam factory among Israeli targets: local news agency
Palestinian Wafa news agency said that various locations were hit overnight by Israeli air raids.
These include the northern town of Jabaliya and Beit Lahia, the al-Bureij refugee camp in the center of the Strip and the one of Khan Younis in the south. The news agency also reported that civilian houses, factories, and agricultural land were damaged.
A foam factory east of Jabaliya, on Salah Eddin Street, set on fire after an Israeli air raid, Wafa reported.
— Yasmeen (@yelkhoudary) May 17, 2021
Israel army said that it targeted tunnels, military facilities and residencies used by Palestinians armed groups.
‘It’s not enough’: Palestine PM urges more concrete actions against Israel
Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh urged countries to offer more concrete action, rather than words, against Israel.
“Frankly speaking it’s not enough at all to have declarations,” said Shtayyeh, speaking from the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.
“The UN must issue a resolution that describes all these actions as illegal and illegitimate against the Palestinian people,” he said, calling for sanctions against Israel.
Shtayyeh also urged allies to summon ambassadors of Israel, to halt trade relations with the country and stop aid coming from the US and the EU “until Israel respects human rights”.
“Those children who are in blood, who lost their lives before even practicing life.. these are crimes to be punished by international law,” he said.
“The license of killing has been renewed for Israel and this must be stopped immediately,” he said.
Bosniak leaders slam Netanyahu over tweet
Members of the Bosniak government have criticised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for including Bosnia as one of the countries supporting Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.
“My message to Prime Minister Netanyahu is that Bosnia and Herzegovina does not and cannot support the killings of innocent civilians in Gaza by Israeli military forces,” said member of the country’s presidency Sefik Dzaferovic.
Bosnia’s Foreign Minister Bisera Turkovic also commented, saying:
“Bosnia and Herzegovina only supports peace and efforts to reach a just solution for Palestine and Israel. No violence leads to lasting peace and stability. On the contrary. We call for and support an immediate end to attacks in which innocent people are killed,” she said on social media.
Israel says it destroyed miles of Hamas tunnels
The Israeli military says it has carried out air raids destroying 15 kilometres (nine miles) of Hamas tunnels in the Gaza Strip and the homes of nine alleged Hamas commanders.
Three children injured every hour in Gaza
Almost three children in Gaza have been injured every hour since violence flared last Monday, according to Save the Children.
In the last week, at least 58 children in the enclave territory and two children in southern Israel have been killed. More than a thousand people in Gaza, including 366 children, have also been injured.
“How many more families need to lose loved ones before the international community takes action? Where can children run to when airstrikes rain down on their homes?” said Jason Lee, Save the Children’s Palestine country director.
“Families in Gaza, and our staff, are telling us that they are at breaking point – they are living in hell with nowhere to seek refuge and seemingly no end in sight,” said Lee.
Pakistan’s foreign minister ‘categorically’ condemns Israel’s attacks
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi conveyed his “deepest sorrow and condolences” to the Palestinian ambassador Ahmed Jawad for the victims of Israeli air raids.
Following a meeting between the two diplomats, Qureshi “categorically” condemned the Israeli army “continuous and indiscriminate attacks” that have resulted in nearly 200 victims in the besieged Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.
Blackouts in parts of Gaza City after raids damage power line
The Gaza Electricity Distribution Company says there were power cuts in “large areas” of Gaza City after Israeli attacks damaged a line feeding electricity from the only power plant to southern areas of the city.
In a Facebook post, the company said its crews were trying to repair the line, adding that it had been repaired more than once in the week since the bombardment began.
Pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian protesters clash in Montreal
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned what he called “despicable rhetoric and violence” after pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian protesters clashed during demonstrations in Montreal.
“Everyone has the right to assemble peacefully and express themselves freely in Canada,” he said in a tweet. “But we cannot and will not tolerate antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind.”
Everyone has the right to assemble peacefully and express themselves freely in Canada – but we cannot and will not tolerate antisemitism, Islamophobia, or hate of any kind. We strongly condemn the despicable rhetoric and violence we saw on display in some protests this weekend.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) May 17, 2021
Earlier in Montreal, police in riot gear had used tear gas to disperse crowds after fighting broke out between pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian protesters in a central city square.
— sarah (@intifadasarah) May 16, 2021
One Palestinian reported injured
Al Jazeera’s Safwat al-Kahlout, reporting from Gaza City, says one Palestinian was treated for light injuries at al-Shifa hospital.
There were no other reports of injuries, and the Associated Press news agency said there was little information on the extent of damage inflicted on the Gaza Strip early on Monday.
Israel attacks ’empty bases, training camps’ linked to Palestinian groups
Al Jazeera’s Safwat al-Kahlout, reporting from Gaza, says the Israeli military targeted “empty fields, empty and evacuated military bases and empty training camps linked to Palestinian fighting groups” in and around Gaza City.
Hamas, meanwhile, fired short-range rockets at southern Israel, instead of the longer-range weapons launched a day earlier. The Israeli Iron Dome air defence system intercepted those rockets, said al-Kahlout.
“It appears that the scale of the fire of the Palestinian fighting group is linked to the strength of the Israeli fire,” he added.
Israel’s latest air attacks ‘heavier, longer’
Israel’s latest air bombardment of the Gaza Strip was “heavier, on a wider area and lasting longer” than the raids 24 hours earlier that killed at least 42 Palestinians.
Fares Akram, AP’s correspondent in Gaza City, said explosions “rocked the city” from north to south for 10 minutes.
Al Jazeera’s Safwat al-Kahlout, reporting from Gaza, said there has barely been “one hour of peace” and that Israeli drones were “hovering overhead, controlling the skies”.
Biden says US working for ‘sustained calm’
US President Joe Biden says his administration is in touch with Palestinians and Israelis to work towards a sustained calm.
“We also believe Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live in safety and security and enjoy equal measure of freedom, prosperity and democracy,” he said in a pre-taped video aired at an event on Sunday marking the Muslim Eid holiday.
“My administration is going to continue to engage Palestinians and Israelis and other regional partners to work toward sustained calm.”