Gaza authorities say 69 Palestinians killed, including 17 children; seven people died in Israel; violence also spreading within Israel.
Israeli fighter jets have attacked high-rise buildings and other targets in the Gaza Strip as Palestinians in the besieged enclave woke up on Thursday to mark the Eid al-Fitr religious holiday under relentless aerial bombardment.
Since the Israeli offensive began late on Monday, Gaza’s health ministry says at least 69 people, including 17 children, have been killed. More than 390 others have been wounded.
At least six Israelis have also been killed. The Israeli army said hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza towards various locations in Israel and they have added reinforcements near the enclave’s eastern lands.
There have also been more violent confrontations between Jewish Israelis and Palestinian citizens of Israel in several cities inside Israel.
Here are the latest updates:
‘Take a step back’: UK minister
Britain’s minister for the Middle East has urged “both sides to take a step back” from the brink of what he described as a terrible escalation.
“We have seen however an unprecedented level of rocket attack into Israel,” James Cleverly, a junior foreign minister who deals with the Middle East and North Africa, told Sky News. “We want to see the rocket attacks stop.”
Preparing for ‘multiple scenarios’: Israel military
Israel’s military spokesman Jonathan Conricus said attacks on Gaza will continue as Israel prepares for “multiple scenarios”.
“We have ground units that are prepared and are in various stages of preparing ground operations,” he told reporters Thursday.
Hundreds of worshippers have attended Eid prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Islam’s third holiest site.
Religious leaders called for calm on the day that marks the end of Ramadan for Muslims around the world.
— الجرمق (@aljarmaqnet) May 13, 2021
Translation: Performing the absentee prayer for the souls of Gaza martyrs at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Turkey calls on Muslims to take clear stance over Gaza
Muslim countries must show a united and clear stance over Israel’s conflict with the Hamas movement in Gaza, said Turkey’s Vice President Fuat Oktay as he criticised world powers for condemning violence without acting.
“What we desire is that active measures are taken,” Oktay told reporters after morning prayers marking the end of Ramadan.
“There are decisions taken repeatedly at the United Nations, there are condemnations. But unfortunately no result has been obtained, because a clear stance is not displayed.”
Rockets prompt diversion of Tel Aviv flights
All passenger flights to Israel’s Ben Gurion international airport near Tel Aviv were being diverted to a southern airport amid persistent rocket fire from Gaza, the airports authority said.
It said guidelines were in place for passenger planes to land at Ramon Airport near the southern resort city of Eilat from early on Thursday.