Israel-Palestine Conflict: Death Toll In Gaza Rises To 32, State Of Emergency In Lod Over “Wide-Scale Riots”

As hostilities between Israel and Palestine continue to escalate, rocket sirens are going off across southern and central Israel while dozens of explosions have also been reported.

The health ministry run by the Hamas group reported that so far, 32 Palestinians have been killed and 220 people injured in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza since the outbreak of hostilities, The Times of Israel reported. Meanwhile, sirens went off in communities near Gaza, in Beersheba where dozens of explosions were reported. Loud booms were reported near Tel Aviv as Hamas launched a massive barrage of rockets at the city.

Amid the escalating conflict, the Hamas’ military wing said it has launched 110 rockets at the city and at the nearby Ben Gurion airport. Several rockets were also fired at Ashkelon, Modiin and Tel Aviv. Two people were seriously injured when a rocket hit their home in the city of Lod. The house has been completely destroyed while the wounded have been shifted to a hospital.

On the other hand, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF)said it has attacked “a number of significant terror sites and terrorists across the Gaza Strip”, reported The Times of Israel. “It is 3 am and more rockets are being fired at Tel Aviv. Families are being woken up and rushed to bomb shelters,” it tweeted.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declared a state of emergency in Lod as intense rioting has erupted in the Arab-Jewish city, is set to visit the area after midnight (local time).

“I have been receiving updates all day on what is happening here in the city and I view it extremely gravely. It is anarchy from rioters that we cannot accept,” he said, while promising to restore law and order. The Assaf Harofeh hospital said it is treating 12 people wounded in the clashes in Lod, including two in serious condition, The Times of Israel reported.

This comes as the tensions between Israel and Palestine are rapidly escalating, with ramping up of rocket attacks and airstrikes from both sides. Three people have been killed in rocket strikes from Gaza towards Tel Aviv.

The United States has expressed serious concern over the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, calling for de-escalation of tensions between both countries by establishing a two-state solution.

Also, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday (local time) spoke to Israel’s Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and expressed his concerns over the escalating violence between Israel and Palestine, including the rocket attacks by the latter.

According to US Department of State spokesperson Ned Price, both leaders discussed the violence in Jerusalem, in particular on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount and in Sheikh Jarrah. Blinken reiterated his call on all parties to de-escalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence, which has claimed the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including children. The Secretary also emphasised the need for Israelis and Palestinians to be able to live in safety and security, as well as enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy.

Meanwhile, The Japanese government has expressed concern over the latest developments in East Jerusalem, including the Israel-Palestine clashes and the airstrikes on Tuesday. “The Government of Japan expresses its serious concern about the latest developments surrounding Israel and Palestine, including clashes and violence in East Jerusalem causing a number of injuries as well as the firing of rockets from Gaza,” Sputnik quoted the ministry’s statement. Several nations have urged both sides to exercise restraint amid intensifying tensions.

Over 630 rockets were fired at Israel from Monday evening through Tuesday afternoon, 200 of which were intercepted by Iron Dome missile defence batteries while 150 others fell short of their targets and landed inside the Strip, according to the army.

The country has been embroiled in conflict over the impending eviction of dozens of Palestinians from East Jerusalem’s neighbourhood.

Over 70 Palestinians in total are set to be evicted from Sheikh Jarrah in the coming weeks to be replaced by right-wing Jewish Israelis. The Palestinians live in houses built on land that courts have ruled were owned by Jewish religious associations before the establishment of Israel in 1948.

(With ANI Inputs)

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