Israel-Gaza conflict rages as US envoy visits

By BBC On Sun, 16 May, 2021 06:26 | < 1 min read
The remains of the multi-storey Al-Jalaa tower, which was home to various media organisations. PHOTO/COURTESY

A US envoy has arrived in Tel Aviv for de-escalation talks as unrest between Israel and the Palestinians continues.

Hady Amr will take part in talks with Israeli, Palestinian and UN officials and reinforce what US diplomats said was the need for a “sustainable calm”.

An Israeli air strike on a refugee camp in the Gaza Strip killed 10 people on Saturday, while a Palestinian rocket killed a man in Israel.

This week’s violence in Gaza and Israel is the worst since 2014.

US President Joe Biden made diplomatic phone calls to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday. The international community has urged both sides to end the escalation.

At least 139 people have been killed in Gaza and nine in Israel since this fighting began on Monday. Israel says dozens of militants are among the dead in Gaza, while Palestinian health officials say nearly half are women and children.

The flare-up of violence over the last six days came after weeks of spiralling Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem, which culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. Hamas began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory air strikes.

Thirteen people died in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, with 10 killed by an Israeli air strike at a refugee camp west of Gaza City, Palestinian health officials said.

A five-month-old baby is said to be the only survivor of that strike, found trapped in the rubble next to his dead mother. A number of people were also reported missing.

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