The Times of Israel livebloggקג Friday’s events as they unfolded. For a recap of Thursday’s events, click here.
The IDF says its air defenses have shot down a Hamas drone that crossed into Israel.
“The airforce tracked the drone until it was downed,” the army says.
The incident comes a day after an F-16 shot down an armed Hamas “suicide drone” that tried to enter Israeli airspace.
The Israel Defense Forces removes a requirement for anyone within four kilometers (2.5 miles) of the Gaza border to remain in a bomb shelter.
This comes five and a half hours after the directive was issued.
The military says people in this area no longer need to remain in bomb shelters, but should stay in close proximity to a protected space, so they can quickly enter if there’s an attack.
Rocket sirens blare in Ashdod, Sderot and the Sha’ar Hanegev region after a night of intense fighting.
Reports say it is a heavy barrage.
There are no immediate reports of impacts or casualties.
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry says 115 Palestinians have died in the enclave since fighting started Monday.
It adds that 600 have been injured.
Israel maintains that most fatalities are either members of terror groups or killed by errant Hamas rocket fire that landed inside the Strip.
Some 160 aircraft flying simultaneously conducted a massive attack on a network of tunnels dug by the Hamas terror group under Gaza City around midnight in the largest Israeli strike since the outbreak of fighting earlier this week, the military says.
According to the Israel Defense Forces, in this air campaign, which lasted nearly 40 minutes, some 450 missiles were dropped on 150 targets in northern Gaza. The military says it is still working to determine the extent of the damage caused to the underground infrastructure, which IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman says was a “strategic asset” to Hamas.
In addition to the aerial strike, Israeli tanks, artillery cannons and infantrymen on the Gaza border conducted accompanying barrages at Hamas targets that came out during the assault to attack Israeli targets, Zilberman says, clarifying that the ground troops remain on Israel’s side of the border and did not enter the Gaza Strip, despite earlier claims to the contrary by the IDF.
In total, some 500 artillery shells — some flares and explosives — along with 50 tank shells, were fired during this subsequent bombardment. Palestinians in Gaza report that the Israeli strike lasted over an hour and caused a number of casualties, though an exact tally is not immediately available.
Zilberman says the operation is the result of large amounts of intelligence and careful planning.
An IDF soldier viciously beaten last night by Arab rioters in Jaffa underwent surgery overnight to treat his serious head injuries, Tel Aviv’s Ichilov hospital says.
The medical center says three top neurosurgeons were called in to conduct the complex operation and managed to stop the heavy internal bleeding.
He regained consciousness and is now in moderate condition, the hospital says.
The 19-year-old remains hospitalized in an intensive care unit.
Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have fired roughly 2,000 rockets and mortar shells toward Israel since the outbreak of fighting on Monday, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
The military says that over the course of Thursday night and Friday morning, an additional 220 projectiles were fired from the enclave, with 30 of them failing to cross the border and landing within the Strip.
According to the IDF, dozens of incoming rockets heading toward populated areas were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system. A number, however, struck within populated areas overnight, one of which seriously injured an Israeli man in his 50s.
The Israel Police says it arrested 43 suspects during another night of intense rioting in the central Israel city of Lod.
Police, who have been accused of continuously failing to contain the unrest in the city and other Jewish-Arab cities, say Border Police officers were “present in areas of friction and gatherings, and dispersed rioters using riot dispersal means.”
Doctors at Sheba Medical Center in Ramat Gan pronounce the death of a 50-year-old woman who was seriously injured while rushing to a bomb shelter on Tuesday during a rocket alarm.
The death toll in Israel since the fighting started has thus reached nine, including an 87-year-old woman who slipped and fell last night while sirens warned of rockets fired by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
Hebrew media also says four women suffered mild injuries last night while rushing to bomb shelters.
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reports 119 killed since the start of the recent hostilities between Israel and the terror group.
27 of those killed were minors, the Health Ministry says. Another 600 Gazans were wounded, according to health authorities.
Israel says most of the casualties are members of terror groups or, in some cases, victims of errant rocket fire by Hamas that landed inside the Strip.
An unnamed Israeli security official claims to Channel 12 news that Israel has killed hundreds of Hamas terror operatives in the ongoing fighting in Gaza.
“Yesterday we carried out at least 20 targeted killings of senior officials. Hamas has hundreds of dead,” the official is quoted saying.
The Hamas-run health ministry a short while ago put the death toll in Gaza during the current hostilities at 119.
The official also says: “We destroyed most of the organization’s rocket production system, we paralyzed the tunnel system, which was its strategic tool, and there are many more [Israeli] accomplishments that they still don’t understand.”
French President Emmanuel Macron puts tweets out in near identical messages in Hebrew and Arabic calling for an immediate halt to the fighting between Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group.
מערבולת האלימות חייבת להיפסק במזרח התיכון. אני קורא בתקיפות להפסקת אש ולדיאלוג. אני קורא לרגיעה ולשלום.
يجب ان تتوقف دوامة العنف في الشرق الأوسط. أناشد بقوة من اجل وقف إطلاق النار والحوار. أنادي للهدوء والسلام. https://t.co/FI2E0HNuWP
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) May 14, 2021
The IDF says it downed a drown this morning after it entered Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip
“The Air Force was surveilling the craft until it was downed,” the IDF says, without specifying if the drone was armed.
The military says it is continuing to strike rocket launch sites in Gaza, with Israeli fighter jets attacking a number of Hamas’s subterranean launch pads in the northern Strip earlier this morning.
The fighter planes also bombed a “launcher station for aircraft that was aimed at central Israel,” apparently referring to the suicide drones that Hamas has been launching at Israel.
Fresh rocket sirens sound in Ashkelon and several other communities near the Gaza Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces say military aircraft just struck a number of Hamas observation posts in northern and central Gaza.
“The IDF will continue to attack terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip and will continue to act as forcefully as needed,” an IDF statement says.
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz flies an Israeli flag on the roof of the chancellory building in Vienna in solidarity with Israel, amid the fighting between the IDF and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.
“The terrorist attacks on Israel are deserving of the strongest condemnation. Together we stand by Israel’s side.”
Heute wurde als Zeichen der Solidarität mit #Israel die israelische Flagge am Dach des Bundeskanzleramtes gehisst. Die terroristischen Angriffe auf Israel sind auf das Schärfste zu verurteilen! Gemeinsam stehen wir an der Seite Israels. pic.twitter.com/FR42K3iA4z
— Sebastian Kurz (@sebastiankurz) May 14, 2021
Hamas releases a video of the “Shehab” suicide drone, which the Gaza-ruling terror group has been launching toward Israel since yesterday.
The Israel Defense forces says it has intercepted five of the unmanned aircraft, which carry a roughly five-kilogram explosive payload.
The military says it has received reports of an attempted stabbing attack near the West Bank settlement of Ofra.
The attacker was “neutralized” at the scene and some troops were injured, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
After international media outlets reported overnight that Israeli troops were operating in Gaza after an ambiguous IDF statement said Israeli air and ground forces were attacking in the Strip, the military is asserting this was due to a misunderstanding.
After the Israel Defense Forces issued the statements in Hebrew and English — “IDF air and ground troops are currently attacking in the Gaza Strip” — a reporter for The Times of Israel contacted a military spokesperson, and was told there were no Israeli troops in Gaza. The soldiers, tanks and artillery were near the border, but on the Israeli side.
However, the same reporter asked for comment from Jonathan Conricus, the spokesman for foreign media, who told him unambiguously that Israeli ground forces were in Gaza.
Several hours later, however, Conricus issued a statement saying there was “an internal communication error,” for which he personally took responsibility.
IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman says the military is investigating what led to the misunderstanding.
Channel 12 news is claiming that the misunderstanding was not in fact a mistake, but a ruse meant to draw Hamas fighters into underground tunnels built by the Gaza-ruling terror group, which the IDF targeted in a massive bombardment overnight
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Thousands of Muslims led by activists from an Islamic political party demonstrate in Bangladesh’s capital today to denounce attacks by Israel against Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.
After the end of Eid al-Fitr prayers at Dhaka’s main Baitul Mokarram Mosque, activists from the Islamic Andolan Bangladesh, or Islamic Movement Bangladesh, begin protesting and are joined by thousands of others.
Muslim-majority Bangladesh is celebrating the key festival of Eid al-Fitr in a subdued manner after the government urged people to avoid large gatherings. Authorities arranged prayers in phases at the Baitul Mokarram Mosque, where devotees maintained distancing to avoid spreading the coronavirus.
Afterward, protesters crowd together outside, carrying signs reading “Boycott terrorist state Israel” and chanting “Down with Israel.”
Bangladesh is one of 28 members of the United Nations that does not recognize the state of Israel.
Military aircraft bombed a Hamas rocket launching cell in northern Gaza as it prepared to fire projectiles at central Israel, the IDF says.
A siren is sounding in communities close to the border with the Gaza Strip after a drone penetrated Israeli airspace from the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, the IDF’s Home Front Command says.
The siren will sound every ten minutes until the threat is neutralized by the Israel Defense Forces.
Earlier, the military said it had intercepted at least five explosive-laden drones launched by terror groups in Gaza since yesterday.
The Shin Bet security service says it is helping crack down on the recent ethnic violence and rioting in Jewish-Arab cities, which it calls “terror for all intents and purposes.”
The security service is using “intelligence collecting capabilities” to learn about any plans to carry out attacks or engage in violent clashes, as well as the identities of those behind these plans, according to a statement. The Shin Bet says it is doing so “to thwart these incidents and to locate, arrest, investigate and put the perpetrators on trial.”
The security service also says Shin Bet agents are operating in the cities and areas where the violence is occurring.
“We won’t allow violent rioters to impose terror on the streets of Israel, either by Arabs or Jews,” Shin Bet chief Nadav Argaman says in a statement.
He also says the Shin Bet will use all its capabilities and act against “whoever tries to harm Israeli citizens, Jews or Arabs, until the calm returns to the streets of the country.”
Military aircraft have bombed a Hamas anti-tank missile cell as it prepared to fire a missile toward Israeli territory, the Israel Defense Forces says in a statement.
The Israel Defense Forces says military aircraft took out a cell of Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives in northern Gaza.
The IDF doesn’t specify what the PIJ operatives were doing, but says they were targeted with “intelligence and firepower capabilities of the Gaza Division.”
BERLIN — Chancellor Angela Merkel warns that Germany won’t tolerate antisemitic demonstrations following protests outside synagogues at which demonstrators shouted anti-Jewish slogans and burned Israeli flags over the escalating conflict in the Gaza Strip.
“Anyone who attacks a synagogue or defiles Jewish symbols shows that for them it is not about criticizing a state or the policies of a government, but about aggression and hate towards a religion and the people who belong to it,” Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert says, adding that “our democracy will not tolerate antisemitic demonstrations.”
Sirens are sounding again in communities near the Gaza border after a suspected drone penetrates Israeli airspace from the coastal enclave.
Residents of the area are ordered to remain in shelters until the threat is neutralized by the Israel Defense Forces.
The IDF says it has intercepted at least five explosive-laden drones launched by terror groups in Gaza since hostilities broke out on Monday.
The Israel Defense Forces says the suspect who tried to attack Israeli troops at a base near the Ofra settlement first tried to accelerate his vehicle into a soldier.
The assailant then got out of his vehicle and tried to stab the soldier before he was “neutralized,” according to the IDF.
The military doesn’t provide any details on the suspect’s condition, but photos from the scene show his lifeless body.
No soldiers were injured.
Rocket sirens sound in numerous communities in southern Israel, including the cities of Ashkelon and Kiryat Gat, after terrorists in Gaza fire another barrage of rockets.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz holds a situational assessment with IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi and other top security officials “after last night’s attacks and ahead of the continuation of the campaign” in Gaza, his office says.
The military wing of the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group claims responsibility for the latest rocket barrage fired at Israel.
The Al-Qassam Brigades say they targeted the southern city of Kiryat Malachi. However, the most northern location that sirens sounded was Kiryat Gat, some 10 kilometers northeast of Kiryat Malachi.
Left-wing Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg walks out of the Channel 12 news studio for hosting extremist MK Itamar Ben Gvir, a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing religious bloc who the police chief has blamed for the “internal intifada” in Jewish-Arab cities.
Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharrar says she would also leave the studio but there is no wheelchair ramp.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks with executives from Facebook and TikTok, urging them to take a more proactive to removing content that incites violence and terrorism.
“These are measures that will directly prevent the violence that is being intentionally stirred through social media by extremist elements that are seeking to do damage to our country. We are in a moment of social emergency, and we expect your assistance,” Gantz, who is also justice minister, is quoted saying in a statement from his office.
The statement says the executives of the social media firms vowed to “quickly and effectively” address incitement and that they also “relayed their condolences to the Israeli families that have lost loved ones” in the rocket attacks by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.
Israeli aircraft target the Gaza Strip homes of high-ranking Hamas commanders, including the deputy commander of the group’s armed wing, according to Arabic-language media reports.
“Israeli warplanes bombed the homes of the deputy commander of the Al-Qassam Brigades, Marwan Issa, and commander, Ayman Nofal, in the Al-Bureij refugee camp in Gaza City,” Qatar-based Al Araby TV reports.
It is not immediately clear if Issa or Nofal were killed in the strikes.
Hundreds of Jordanians run toward the border with Israel, breaking through a police checkpoint on the Jordanian side, local Jordanian media report.
“With spirit and blood, we shall redeem you, O Aqsa!” the crowd chants, referring to the mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Large numbers of Jordanian security forces appear to be present on the scene.
Thousands of Jordanians also rally in the capital Amman after Friday prayers in protest of Israeli actions in Jerusalem and the current fighting between Israel and the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers.
— Ghadeer_Talal???????? (@Ghadeer48489416) May 14, 2021
Rocket sirens sound in numerous communities in southern Israel, including Kiryat Malachi, which the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group earlier claimed to target.
Police announce the arrests of three suspects over last night’s violence in the Jewish-Arab city of Lod, which the cops say included live fire at officers and the burning of buildings — including synagogues.
“The investigation is continuing,” a police statement says.
As a funeral is held in Kiryat Gat for Ido Avigal — a 5-year-old from Sderot killed Wednesday in a rocket attack — Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fire projectiles at the southern city, forcing mourners to take cover.
The sirens sounded as Ido’s father, Asaf Avigal, finishes a eulogy in which he apologized for not having protected his son, who was killed by shrapnel that pierced through the window of the fortified room where he was sheltering with his mother and sister, both of whom were injured.
The Kan public broadcaster says the timing of the rocket fire was clearly aimed at disrupting the funeral, as Kiryat Gat has not been frequently targeted during the current round of fighting in Gaza, which erupted Monday when the Strip’s Hamas rulers fired rockets at Jerusalem.
The IDF says its tanks fired warning shots toward a number of rioters who crossed from Lebanon into Israeli territory.
The suspects sabotaged the border fence and set a fire in the area before returning to Lebanese territory, the military says.
There are no reports of injuries.
A handful of the protesters are seen waving Hezbollah flags.
The incident took place near the Israeli town of Metula.
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 14, 2021
Fresh rockets sirens have been set off in Beersheba and the surrounding towns, sending thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters.
During the last rocket barrage fired by terror groups in Gaza toward the city of Beersheba, one rocket struck near the Route 40 highway.
One person was lightly wounded, according to medics. Police say part of the highway near Goral Junction has been closed as officers secure the scene.
A large barrage of rockets has been fired from Gaza, setting off sirens in Ashkelon, Ashdod and surrounding cities.
The Israeli military says it is looking into the claim that a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli live fire in the West Bank village of Yaabad, a spokesperson for the army says.
According to the Israeli army, a violent riot burst out in the area, in which dozens of Palestinians threw stones, burned tires and shot fireworks at the military.
The military says the soldiers responded with live fire towards a “main rioter” and riot dispersal means.
Israeli security forces shot and killed two Palestinians with live fire during a day of clashes in the West Bank, according to the Palestinian Authority health ministry.
The Israeli military could not immediately be reached for comment. Three Palestinians have been killed so far today during confrontations with Israeli troops across the West Bank. The Israeli army has said that in some instances, Palestinians have thrown rocks and shot fireworks at soldiers.
Ten West Bank Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since Monday, according to publicly available PA health ministry updates. Some were killed in what seem to have been violent clashes, while others were shot in what Israel deems to have been terror attacks.
Police say that have arrested three Arab Israelis suspected of shooting at officers and setting synagogues and buildings on fire in riots that took place in the city of Lod in recent days.
150 Palestinians have been injured in violent clashes with the IDF across the West Bank today, the Palestinian health ministry in Ramallah says.
שלושה הרוגים בגדה היום ועוד עשרות פצועים מירי חי וכדורי גומי הועברו לבתי חולים ברמאללה , שכם, חברון ,טולכרם , ג'נין , סלפית , בית ג'אלא . מדובר במחאה המסיבית ביותר בגדה המערבית מאז החלו העימותים בירושלים וההסלמה ברצועה pic.twitter.com/Nzoak3ovEt
— Jack khoury.جاك خوري (@KhJacki) May 14, 2021
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issues a video statement amid ongoing Hamas rocket fire on Israel and after the latest rounds of IDF strikes in Gaza, which have reportedly included attacks aimed at Hamas leaders. Violence is also spreading to the West Bank, and there have been incidents on both the Jordanian and Lebanese borders today.
“I said we would strike Hamas and other terror groups with significant blows, and we are doing so,” Netanyahu says.
“In the last day we have attacked underground targets. Hamas thought it could hide there, but it cannot.”
“Hamas leaders think they can escape from our grasp. They cannot escape. We can reach them everywhere — all of [Hamas’s] people and we will continue to do so.”
“They attacked us on our holiday [Jerusalem Day], they attacked our capital, they fired missiles at our cities; they are paying and will continue to pay a heavy price for that.”
“It’s not over yet. We will do everything to restore security to our cities and our citizens,” he says.
Netanyahu makes a point to thank US President Joe Biden, France President Emmanuel Macron, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others who have offered their support.
“They stood for our natural and obvious right to defend ourselves, to act in self-defense against these terrorists who both attack civilians and hide behind civilians,” he says.
In addition to taking out several Hamas battalion commanders earlier this week, the IDF also sought to carry out targeted killings of senior leaders of the Gaza terror group, the Kan public broadcaster reports, adding that they managed to evade assassination.
Fresh rocket sirens are blaring in Nahal Oz and other towns along the Gaza border.
Haaretz releases footage of IDF soldiers sitting down outside the Palestinian village of At-Tuwani in the southern West Bank. One of the soldiers stands up walks several meters toward the fence of the Palestinian town and throws a stun grenade that he had in his vest toward the village where it does not appear that any crowd of Palestinians had gathered.
In another clip, the soldiers are seen firing into the air.
The IDF has not immediately responded to a query on the matter.
ובינתיים, בדרום הר חברון: כמה חיילים תועדו היום יושבים, אחד קם לזרוק רימון הלם לכיוון הכפר א-תוואני על אף שלא נראית אף התקהלות או סיבה נראית לעין. בוידאו נוסף אחד החיילים יורה באוויר. לדברי תושבים הם גם קיללו אותם. מחכה לתגובת דוצ. pic.twitter.com/VFHqRi8j6I
— Hagar Shezaf (@HShezaf) May 14, 2021
Hamas praised ongoing clashes between West Bank Palestinians and Israeli soldiers, calling for Palestinians to “set the ground ablaze under the feet of the occupation.”
“O you free heroes of the West Bank, blessed are your arms. We salute your revolution,” a spokesperson for Hamas’s armed wing says.
Arab Israelis hurled a pipe bomb at two Jewish women walking in the town of Ramle, where both Jews and Arabs live.
The bomb missed the women who avoided injury. A Jewish man driving by noticed what was unfolding and fired into the air, leading the suspects to flee the scene, Haaretz reports.
Fresh rocket sirens sound in Israeli towns bordering Gaza, including Netiv Ha’asarah.
A sixth Palestinian has been killed in West Bank clashes with IDF soldiers.
The clashes are taking place throughout the West Bank and in cities that don’t normally see them, with some 3,000 Palestinians taking part.
The latest casualty is reported in the northern West Bank town of Beita near Nablus. It joins one in Jenin, two in Salfit, one in Urif and one in Jericho.
After meeting with religious leaders on Arab-Jewish violence, Rivlin says he’s ‘filled with strength’
“In Akko today to hear from the local leadership with the aim of calming the situation. These wonderful people filled me with strength,” tweets President Reuven Rivlin, after meeting with mayors and religious leaders against the backdrop of expanding Arab-Jewish violence.
“This is home to us all, and we protect our home. Not with clubs and knives that sow destruction and ruin, but by maintaining law and order.
“‘If we allow every external force to rock the boat, we may as well shut up shop. If we don’t steady the ship, take responsibility, Akko will become a disappointment, not a success,'” head of the Avner pre-military academy Rabbi Ahikam Getz told me.”
“All of us, public leaders at all levels, and particularly spiritual leaders, are responsible for what happens in our communities,” Rivlin says. “We must stop the cycle of violence. That is what is needed right now.”
In Akko today to hear from the local leadership with the aim of calming the situation. These wonderful people filled me with strength.
This is home to us all, and we protect our home. Not with clubs and knives that sow destruction and ruin, but by maintaining law and order. pic.twitter.com/rEx2V9fM73
— Reuven Rivlin (@PresidentRuvi) May 14, 2021
Fresh rockets sirens sound in towns along the Gaza border including Sderot, Nir Am, Kfar Aza and Miflasim.
Channel 12 reports that damage has been caused in one town where shrapnel landed. No injuries have been immediately reported.
IDF soldiers have thwarted a ramming attack near the central West Bank town of Ya’abed, shooting two of the Palestinians in the vehicle that targeted them, according to Hebrew media reports.
The two suspects are being treated by medics at the scene. There were no injuries to the Israeli soldiers.
Earlier this week, the IDF said it had “foiled” a terror attack at the Tapuah Junction where soldiers thought that as the car slowed and rolled down a window, one of the men inside had a gun. They shot and killed both of the Palestinians inside. Shortly thereafter, it was discovered that the victims were unarmed members of the PA intelligence.
The IDF says its soldiers “used unnecessarily means to disperse demonstrations” in the Palestinian village of At-Tuwani after footage published earlier showed a soldier hurling a stun grenade at the town where no one appeared to be gathering.
“They were suspended from operational service and will be prosecuted,” the IDF says of the soldiers.
ובינתיים, בדרום הר חברון: כמה חיילים תועדו היום יושבים, אחד קם לזרוק רימון הלם לכיוון הכפר א-תוואני על אף שלא נראית אף התקהלות או סיבה נראית לעין. בוידאו נוסף אחד החיילים יורה באוויר. לדברי תושבים הם גם קיללו אותם. מחכה לתגובת דוצ. pic.twitter.com/VFHqRi8j6I
— Hagar Shezaf (@HShezaf) May 14, 2021
After the IDF said its tanks fired at Lebanese protesters who crossed the Israeli border fence, initial reports in Lebanon claim one of the protesters also sustained a gunshot wound while fleeing and died of his wounds.
The unconfirmed reports identify the victim as Mohammad Tahan from the southern Lebanese village of Adlun.
In Lod, a central city with Jewish and Arab populations that has become an epicenter of the ethnic violence wracking the country, police made the extraordinary decision to limit entry into the city starting at 4 p.m., while keeping a nightly curfews in place for a third night.
Rocket sirens have been set off near Israeli towns bordering Gaza, including in Nir Am and Miflasim.
After a night of mass strikes in Gaza that the IDF said caused immense damage to Hamas infrastructure, security officials tell Channel 12 that they would back a ceasefire if such an offer were to be relayed in the coming day or so.
The Palestinian Authority health ministry reports another Palestinian killed by Israeli live fire during clashes with Israeli forces.
The Palestinian man arrived in critical condition at a government hospital in Yatta in the south Hebron hills this afternoon, the ministry says.
According to the health ministry, some 500 Palestinians have been wounded in clashes across the West Bank since the beginning of Friday. Seven have been killed.
The Lebanese National News Agency confirms the death of a Lebanese man, reportedly from Israeli gunfire, near the Blue Line dividing Lebanon from Israel.
After the IDF said its tanks fired at Lebanese protesters who crossed the Israeli border fence, initial reports in Lebanon claimed one of the protesters also sustained a gunshot wound while fleeing and died of his wounds.
The reports identify the victim as Mohammad Tahan from the southern Lebanese village of Adlun.
Fresh rocket sirens are sounding in southern border towns, including in the Eshkol Regional Council, Sha’ar Hanegev, Avshasom.
Initial reports indicate that a rocket has struck a building in an Israeli border town, but no injuries have been reported.
Red alert sirens have been going off non-stop for the past ten minutes in border towns near the Gaza Strip as far away as Ashkelon with rocket fire from persisting.
There have been no immediate reports of injuries.
In the latest rocket barrage fired by terror groups in the Gaza Strip toward the city of Sderot, at least one rocket impacts a home.
A spokesperson for the municipality says there are no injuries as the home was empty at the time, but damage has been caused.
From the rocket impact in Sderot, spokesperson for the municipality says no injuries. pic.twitter.com/CwEo5J7WW0
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) May 14, 2021
Israeli residents of Lebanese border towns ordered to remain inside as IDF responds to fence sabotage
Residents of Israeli towns along the Lebanese border near Metula have been ordered to remain in their homes as the IDF responds to an attempt to sabotage the border fence.
The protest of dozens of Lebanese civilians earlier today effectively never ended, and several demonstrators waited until the evening when they sought to cut through the border fence when it was darker out, Channel 12 reports.
US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr has arrived in Tel Aviv for talks with the sides aimed at bringing an end to the ongoing round of violence with Gaza.
Amr “arrived to TLV today to reinforce the need to work toward a sustainable calm, recognizing Israel’s right to self-defense. Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measures of freedom, security, dignity and prosperity,” the US embassy in Israel tweets.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas calls on the United States to intervene to stop the escalation in the West Bank and Gaza after a bloody day of clashes in the West Bank.
“The president calls on the US administration to immediately and swiftly intervene to stop this Israeli aggression so that things will not get out of control,” Abbas’s office says in a statement.
Israeli soldiers have clashed with Palestinian rioters across the West Bank today as demonstrations against Israeli policies turned violent. At least nine Palestinians have been killed in the clashes and over 500 Palestinians have been wounded.
Palestinians were said to throw stones and launch fireworks at troops, who responded with live fire.
Abbas calls the shooting deaths “brutal and programmed killings carried out by the Israeli occupation forces.”
Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal tells a Turkish news agency that the Gaza terror group is ready for a ceasefire but has not received a response from Israel.
Two more Palestinians have been killed in clashes with the IDF in the northern West Bank city of Nablus, the PA health ministry reports.
The victims have been identified as Hussam Asseirah and Hussam Wael Asseira, a 19-year-old from the town of Asira.
The other victims have been identified as followed:
1- Muhammad Ruhi Hammad, from Silwad village / Ramallah
2- Sharif Khalid Salman from the village of Marda / Salfit
3- Awad Harb from the village of Iskaka / Salfit
4- Yusef Nawasrah, from the village of Fahma / Jenin
5- Nidal Sayel Safadi, from the village of Urif / Nablus
6- Muhammad Mahmoud Al-Madhoun
7 – Issa Barham
Fresh rocket sirens sound in southern towns including in Ashkelon, Yad Mordechai, Netiv Ha’asarah, Karmia, Zikim and Bat Hadar after a ten minute lull.
Shin Bet and other security forces has arrested the deputy head of the Northern Branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Kamal Khatib, in the town of Kafr Kanna.
The arrest has sparked major clashes in the town between locals and Israeli officers carrying out the arrest.
A 23-year-old protester has been shot, sustaining moderate to serious wounds.
צעיר בן 23 נפצע בעימותים שפרצו בכפר כנא, מצבו בינוני עד קשה
(אורלי אלקלעי) pic.twitter.com/dwu0xNl0Wo
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) May 14, 2021
New rocket sirens sound off southern towns near Gaza, including in Netivot, Shokeda, Be’eri, Ashkelon and Kfar Maimon.
In its 40-minute assault on Hamas’s tunnel network in Gaza overnight Thursday-Friday, Israel destroyed miles of tunnels and killed what it believes to be dozens of Hamas fighters in what it hopes will be a decisive phase of the current conflict, Israeli TV reports say.
The bombing was the largest Israeli strike since the outbreak of fighting earlier this week, the military said earlier Friday.
The assault was prefaced by a deliberate ruse in which the IDF indicated it was opening a ground offensive — prompting Hamas to send its fighters, including commanders, into the tunnels, Channel 12 says. When the IAF bombed them, “the tunnels collapsed on those inside.”
Some 160 Israel Air Force planes targeted the tunnels, a network extending through tens of miles in northern Gaza and around Gaza City. A total of 450 bombs were dropped, with a combined load of 80 tons of explosives, the TV report says.
“It is not clear” how many Hamas operatives were killed, the report says; “Hamas itself may not yet know.” It says many Hamas commanders are believed to have been in the tunnels.
The IAF’s Nevatim airbase commander, Omer Tishler, says “actions such as this, so damaging to the enemy,” would likely “make the enemy want to stop… but in any case we will continue [to target Hamas] as long as is necessary.”
Hamas weaponry was located in the tunnels, including rocket launchers; Hamas would also have tried to kill and capture IDF soldiers by emerging from the tunnels to capture them, as was the case in previous conflicts.
In a statement earlier Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted: “I said we would strike Hamas and other terror groups with significant blows, and we are doing so. In the last day we have attacked underground targets. Hamas thought it could hide there, but it cannot. Hamas leaders think they can escape from our grasp. They cannot escape. We can reach them everywhere — all of [Hamas’s] people and we will continue to do so.”
Channel 12 calls the bombing of the tunnels “the central action” to date of this week’s conflict, but says the IDF has further such operations ready to carry out if and when necessary.
Since 7 a.m. Israel time, roughly 140 launches from the Gaza Strip to Israeli territory have been identified, the IDF says.
About 30 launches of them fell in the Gaza Strip, the army says, adding that the Iron Dome intercepted dozens of rockets.
In the last rocket barrage by Gaza terror groups toward towns along the border, one person is wounded after falling as they ran to a bomb shelter.
A spokesperson for the Eshkol regional council says the person is being treated for light injuries.
The Israel Defense Forces says they struck and thwarted a Hamas anti-tank missile cell in the Shejaiya neighborhood in northern Gaza.
In addition, the military says they struck two anti-tank missile launchers in the same area.
The strikes were conducted by the Maglan unit and Air Force aircraft, the IDF says.
Rocket siren sound in western Negev towns and in Beersheba and surrounding areas.
Fresh rocket sirens are sounding in Ashkelon and the surrounding areas.
BEIRUT — The Hezbollah terror group says a young man killed by Israeli gunfire along the Lebanese-Israeli border was a fighter with the militant group.
The man, 21-year-old Mohammad Tahhan, died of wounds sustained on Friday when he was struck during a protest at the border.
Palestinian and Lebanese youth had gathered in the border area as part of a rally against the Israeli military campaign in Gaza. A small group later breached the fence and crossed the border into Israel, triggering the shooting.
The Israeli military says troops fired warning shots toward the group after they sabotaged the fence and crossed over briefly.
After sunset a dozen protesters still lingered by the fence, prompting tear gas from the Israeli side.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun strongly condemned “the crime committed by Israeli forces” when they opened fire at the group.
Channel 12 reports that the Shin Bet has arrested a number of Bedouin citizens in the Negev who sought to carry out a shooting attack yesterday on a highway in the area, shooting at a Jewish car that was passing by but failing to hit their target.
Fresh rocket sirens sound in southern border towns, including Kfar Maimon, Alumim, Sa’ad, Nachal Oz, Zimrat, Shuva, Mefaslim and Dorot.
NEW YORK — A diplomatic source familiar with efforts to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas tells The Times of Israel there is cautious optimism that one will be achieved in the next day or two.
The source says that this assessment among negotiators comes from experience brokering ceasefires to end previous rounds of violence between the sides and a “clear reading of the room.”
Hamas has passed along messages that it is interested in a ceasefire, and negotiators believe that after the nature of the Israeli strikes that took place in Gaza overnight Thursday and early Friday, Jerusalem is also interested in winding down the latest round of violence, the diplomatic source says.
Egypt has been playing a major role in the current efforts to end the violence, holding calls with officials in Hamas, Qatar, the US and other countries, though not with Israel directly, another official tells ToI.
A Security Council diplomat says that Sunday’s emergency open session on the violence in Israel and Gaza will see member states unanimously issue calls for a ceasefire, albeit with blame being placed to varying degrees on either side. The meeting will further pressure Israel and Hamas to agree to a return to calm, the diplomat says.
Three projectiles from Syria have fallen in an open area in the Golan Heights in Israel’s north, according to Hebrew media reports.
There are no reports of injuries.
US President Joe Biden wishes Muslims in the US and around the world celebrating Eid Al-Fitr, which will be marked at a White House ceremony on Sunday.
“We were heartened to see Eid celebrations around the world, but we know that this year, the situation in the Holy Land is weighing heavily on Muslims everywhere, including our Muslim communities here in the United States,” Biden says in a statement.
“Palestinians—including in Gaza—and Israelis equally deserve to live in dignity, safety and security. No family should have to fear for their safety within their own home or place of worship. We think most about the children in these societies who face trauma from a conflict far beyond their control,” he adds.
“My administration will continue to engage Palestinians, Israelis, and other regional partners to work towards a sustainable calm.”
The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reports 126 killed since the start of the recent hostilities between Israel and the terror group, and some 950 wounded.
Thirty-one of those killed were minors, the ministry adds.
Israel says most of the casualties are members of terror groups or, in some cases, victims of errant rocket fire by Hamas that landed inside the Strip.
The Israel Defense Forces says its struck a Palestinian Islamic Jihad anti-tank missile operative in Rafah in the southern Gaza strip.
The strike was conducted by an aircraft, the military says.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Lod earlier this evening, receiving a situational assessment on police efforts to restore order in the city that has been torn apart by ethnically motivated violence.
“Groups of Arab rioters are attacking Jews all over,” says Netanyahu in a video statement.
“I am explicitly saying that this is not the entire Arab public and not even the majority of the Arab public, but it is a significant minority that is violently harming innocents, and this harms the fabric of life we have built over the years between Jews and Arabs. It must stop,” he says.
“The reaction of Arab community leaders to this day has been very weak,” he continues.
“Everyone should condemn it, any form of violence, of Arabs against Jews and also of Jews against Arabs. I do so without hesitating for a moment.”
“We can have no stone-throwing, no gunfire, no arson attacks of synagogues. We will act with all our might to prevent these crimes.”
He says security forces will deal with such criminals as they do terrorists.
Addressing Israeli security forces, Netanyahu says they “should not be afraid to do what they have to do to protect the lives of themselves and peaceful citizens of Israel. We will do whatever it takes to restore peace to the cities of Israel.”
Rocket sirens have gone off in towns along the Gaza border and in the western Negev.
The Israeli army says it struck a number of Hamas observation posts in the southern Gaza Strip.
The strikes were conducted by combat helicopters targeting ground and naval sites, the military says.
The Shin Bet announces the arrests of six people on suspicion of attacking Jews in Jerusalem and later uploading video of the assaults to social media.
Sheikh Kamal Khatib from Kafr Kanna, who was arrested earlier this evening in the town on suspicions he’s played a role instigating Arab violence targeting Jews, was filmed earlier this week condmening such violence.
Commenting on a mob attack of a Jewish bystander in the town, he said, “If I had been there myself I would have rescued him, just as some of the villagers did. What happened is contrary to the values of Islam.”
שיח' כמאל חטיב מכפר כנא שנעצר היום דיבר בדרשת השישי על היהודי שהותקף בכפר כנא לפני כמה ימים: אם הייתי בעצמי שהם הייתי מציל אותו בדיוק כמו שנהגו כמה תושבים מהכפר שהחזיקו אות ביד וחילצו משם ומה שקרה זה מנוגד לערכי האיסלאם pic.twitter.com/glEnuwdlxh
— sami abdulhamid سامي عبد الحميد (@samiaah10) May 14, 2021
Fresh rocket sirens have been set off in southern border towns, including in Ofakim, Maslul, Patish and Merhavim.
Police say officers are operating throughout various Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem to quash riots taking place there. Cops were attacked with stones, Molotov cocktails and other objects and responded with riot dispersal measures.
They also arrested one suspect in Baqa al Gharbiya and two in haifa on suspicion of rioting.
Arab rioters have torched the Acre theater which locals describe as a symbol of Arab-Jewish coexistence in the city.
“We have been in this theater for 36 years, and it is run by Arabs and Jews together,” says one of the theater’s managers Khaled Abu Ali in a quote carried by Ynet.
“We have never differentiated between Arabs and Jews. We are all one family,” says Osnat Yosef, whose husband Moni is another manager at the theater. wife of theater director.
“It’s incredibly painful to see this happen” says Moni Yosef.
Riots have also broken out in Baqa al-Gharbiyye, Haifa, Umm al-Fahm and other towns in the north.
חלקים מתיאטרון עכו, מסמלי החיבור בין יהודים וערבים בעיר, נשרפו על ידי פורעים ערבים. ״תחושה קשה ועצב גדול. לא האמנו, התיאטרון משרת את החברה הערבית והיהודית. אנחנו יודעים שזה קומץ קטן וזה לא פוגע באהבתנו לעכו ותושביה״. אמרו בתיאטרון pic.twitter.com/XkMSUdLmbj
— Ran Boker רן בוקר (@ranboker) May 14, 2021
The Israel Defense Forces says it struck two apartments of members in the Hamas naval force.
The homes, belonging to Muhammad Abu Shala and Fares Abu Shukran were used as weapons depots according to the military.
Bahrain Foreign Affairs Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani held a phone call earlier today with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyadh Al-Maliki during which they discussed the ongoing violence in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza “and the Israeli attacks against the people and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territories in the city of Jerusalem,” according to a readout from Zayani’s office.
“The Minister reiterated the Kingdom of Bahrain’s strong condemnation of the attacks launched by the Israeli forces on the Gaza Strip, expressing the condolences of the Kingdom to the leadership and people of Palestine for the martyrs who were killed as a result of the Israeli attacks, and wishing the wounded a speedy recovery,” the statement says.
“The Foreign Minister expressed the Kingdom of Bahrain’s solidarity with the brotherly Palestinian people, stressing the position of the Kingdom of Bahrain strongly supportive of the Palestinian cause, believing in the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the basis of the principle of the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative and in accordance with the relevant international legitimacy decisions.”
Zayani conveyed Bahrain’s support for a Saudi initiative to to hold an executive committee meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on the ongoing violence.
The readout from Bahrain, which normalized relations with Israel last year, does not include any mention of Hamas rocket fire.
The Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip publishes a video of its rocket and mortar fire toward Israel over the past two days.
Palestinian terrorists have fired over 2,000 projectiles toward Israel since the outbreak of fighting on Monday, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
Police say they have shot and wounded a person trying to throw a firebomb towards a municipal hall in the embattled city.
The Haaretz website says the person shot is 15 years old.
Police say he was hit in the legs and lightly wounded. Police use a 22-caliber Ruger sniper rifle, which is considered less lethal than standard issue rifles, and is sometimes used for riot control.
Lod has seen some of the worst Jewish-Arab violence in recent days.
The army says it shot a Palestinian man who tried to attack troops with a knife during protests near the West Bank city of Nablus.
The army says the man was “neutralized,” without detailing whether he was killed or injured.
There are no casualties on the Israeli side.
The IDF releases a video showing an airstrike on the office of Hamas internal security chief Tawdiq Abu Naim.
The army says the building was used to run Hamas military operations.
לפני זמן קצר, כלי טיס של צה"ל תקף את משרדו המבצעי של ראש מנגנוני הביטחון של חמאס בראמל, תאופיק אבו נעים, ששימש תשתית צבאית לניהול הלחימה pic.twitter.com/aF0SJo80mA
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) May 14, 2021
Rocket warning siren wail as a fresh barrage of rockets are fired towards the southern Israeli cities of Beersheba and Ofakim and other communities in the Negev desert.
Channel 12 news says at least 9 rockets are fired, with most falling in open areas. One rocket is intercepted by Iron Dome.
There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage
Two Arab children are hurt after a firebomb was thrown into their home in Jaffa on the outskirts of Tel Aviv.
Magen David Adom medics say a 12-year old boy was moderately wounded, suffering from burns and his 10-year-old sister lightly hurt.
ילד בן 12 נשרף.
התמונות קשות אבל אני מבקש שלא תסיטו מבט.
המשטרה יודעת טוב מאוד לפוצץ מפגינים ערבים במכות. למנוע מכהניסטים לשרוף ילדים היא לא יודעת. pic.twitter.com/HaVTc9yERB
— Ofer Cassif עופר כסיף (@ofercass) May 14, 2021
They are taken to Sheba Medical Center for treatment.
Police say they are investigating.
Rockets are being fired at the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon and the surrounding areas in southern Israel.
There are no immediate reports on injuries or damage.
The attacks come as the IDF says it struck three Hamas underground launch sites in northern Gaza.
לפני זמן קצר, מטוסי קרב וכלי טיס תקפו שלוש עמדות שיגור תת קרקעיות של ארגון הטרור חמאס בצפון רצועת עזה pic.twitter.com/AOFxVyK98Q
— צבא ההגנה לישראל (@idfonline) May 14, 2021
Three women sustained light injuries while running for shelter during a Hamas rocket attack on the southern city of Beersheba, medics say.
The Magen David Adom ambulance service says all three are taken to Sorak hospital for treatment.
Medics also treated a man who feared he was having a heart attack during the rocket barrage on Ashdod. He was not hospitalized.
MDA says they do not have any further reports of casualties during the rocket attacks after midnight.
The United Nations Secretary-General is appealing to all parties “to immediately cease the fighting in Gaza and Israel.”
“The ongoing military escalation has caused great suffering and destruction. It has claimed scores of civilian lives, including, tragically, many children.” says a statement from António Guterres.
“The fighting has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis and to further foster extremism, not only in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, but in the region as a whole,” he says.
Guterres says the UN is actively trying to mediate a truce.
Rocket warning sirens are sounding across southern Israel.
Sirens go off in the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gedera, Beersheba and surrounding smaller communities.
Iron Dome interceptors can be seen bringing down several rockets.
— Bill Badey (@10903) May 14, 2021
The Hamas military wing says it launched a heavy barrage of rockets at Beersheba in response to IDF strikes on homes in Gaza and the killing of Palestinians in West Bank protests.
At least 9 Palestinians were killed in clashes across the West Bank with IDF troops.
Beersheba is targetted in several rounds of fire after midnight. Most of the rockets fired at Beersheba landed in open areas, while several others were intercepted by Iron Dome.
The terror of the Qassam rockets in Beersheba right now. pic.twitter.com/Rqo3emv2Wx
— Arya ???????? (@AryJaey) May 14, 2021
Three women were lightly hurt running for shelter.
The IDF says it continues to strike Hamas rocket launching sites, most of them underground.
A rocket scored a direct hit on a home in Ashdod. No injuries are reported.
The rocket hit an apartment on the sixth floor of the building, officials say.
Southern Israel has faced an intense rocket bombardment since midnight, with several heavy waves of rockets targeting Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beersheba and surrounding areas.
Palestinian media in the Gaza Strip report that seven people, including several children, were killed, in an Israeli airstrike that hit a house in the Gaza Strip’s al-Shati refugee camp.
Several people are also reported trapped under rubble.
The reports say some of the children are from the same family.
Terrorists in Gaza have launched a heavy barrage of rockets into Israel, saying it was in response to the al-Shati strike.
Urgent: The only Palestinian child who survived in the family in the Shati refugee camp, west of Gaza, after Israeli aircraft were completely targeted. The entire family was martyred, and this child remains alone now!!! ????????#GazzaUnderAttack pic.twitter.com/Z4ZF4Dhb0v
— MARWA (@Marwasakr33) May 15, 2021
There is no immediate response from the IDF, which said earlier that it continues to target rocket launching sites.
Israel claims that several cases of civilian casualties in Gaza were caused by Palestinian rockets falling short. It also accuses terror groups of launching rockets from densely populated civilian areas.
A rocket landed in Ashdod port, causing some damage to the site, but no injuries.
Earlier, a rocket scored a direct hit on an apartment building. Here too, no injuries are reported.
Videos posted to social media also appears to show a rocket hitting a power transformer, causing a blackout in the area, but there is no immediate confirmation from local officials.
— parallel_universe #FreeNavalny (@ignis_fatum) May 15, 2021
Rocket warning sirens are blaring in Sderot and surrounding communities near the Gaza Strip.
Video shows Iron Dome intercepting several rockets about the city.
There are no immediate reports of injuries.
— ORI – WorldNews IL (@OriElmakayes) May 15, 2021
A rocket that landed in Ashdod port hit a fuel reservoir, causing a massive explosion and sending huge flames into the night sky.
There were no reports of injuries.
This is the second time an oil tank has been hit in the port and nearby refinery.
Barrages of rockets are being fired non-stop from Gaza into southern Israel.
Tonight, a rocket hit the city of Ashdod—see the damage for yourself.
This won’t go unanswered. pic.twitter.com/2ByndSi79u
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) May 15, 2021
The IDF says its aircraft have attacked several rocket launching sites and two Hamas “terror squads” in the Gaza Strip.
“The attacks were carried out through a quick closing of the circle, lethal fire capability and accurate intelligence of the Gaza Division,” the army says,
China lands a spacecraft on Mars for the first time in the latest advance for its space program.
The official Xinhua News Agency says Saturday that the lander had touched down, citing the China National Space Administration.
Plans call for a rover to stay in the lander for a few days of diagnostic tests before rolling down a ramp to explore an icy area of Mars known as Utopia Planitia. It will join an American one that arrived at the red planet in February.
China’s first Mars landing follows its launch last month of the main section of what will be a permanent space station and a mission that brought back rocks from the moon late last year.
“China has left a footprint on Mars for the first time, an important step for our country’s space exploration,” Xinhua says in announcing the landing on one of its social media accounts.
Video from the flashpoint East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jerrah appears to show right-wing Jews firing guns at Palestinians who are pelting them with rocks and fireworks.
The video was posted by the Haaretz daily’s Jerusalem reporter.
Sheikh Jerrah has been at the center of recent tensions amid plans to evict several Palestinian families from land claimed by Jewish groups.
The use of live fire by civilians would represent an escalation in violence in the conflict.
יהודים יורים ירי חי ומיידים אבנים לעבר פלסטינים בשייח ג'ראח בתגובה למטר אבנים וזיקוקי דינור. pic.twitter.com/FV4D2Y5qqI
— نير حسون Nir Hasson ניר חסון (@nirhasson) May 14, 2021
Rocket warning sirens are sounding in Beersheba and communities near the Gaza Strip.
The sirens come after a 2-hour lull, following a night of intense rocket strikes on Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon and surrounding areas.
As The Times of Israel’s political correspondent, I spend my days in the Knesset trenches, speaking with politicians and advisers to understand their plans, goals and motivations.
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