search
Live updates (closed)

After 3-hour overnight lull, fresh rocket sirens set off in Gaza border towns

No immediate report of injuries * Hawkish Dem joins progressive colleagues in criticizing Israeli strikes * IDF said to target Hamas leader Sinwar during nighttime counterstrikes

  • Rockets are launched towards Israel from Rafah, in the southern the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas terror group, on May 15, 2021. (Said KHATIB / AFP)
    Rockets are launched towards Israel from Rafah, in the southern the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Palestinian Hamas terror group, on May 15, 2021. (Said KHATIB / AFP)
  • Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a rocket strike in Ramat Gan that killed Gershon Franco, 50, on May 15, 2021 (Gili Yaari /Flash90)
    Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a rocket strike in Ramat Gan that killed Gershon Franco, 50, on May 15, 2021 (Gili Yaari /Flash90)
  • Gaza's Jalaa Tower, which housed the offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, is destroyed in Israeli strikes after occupants were warned to depart, May 15, 2021 (video screenshot)
    Gaza's Jalaa Tower, which housed the offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera, is destroyed in Israeli strikes after occupants were warned to depart, May 15, 2021 (video screenshot)
  • Thousands of demonstrators observe Nakba Day in Sakhnin, northern Israel, on Saturday, May 15, 2021 (Credit: Ali Siryouji/Joint List)
    Thousands of demonstrators observe Nakba Day in Sakhnin, northern Israel, on Saturday, May 15, 2021 (Credit: Ali Siryouji/Joint List)
  • Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a rocket strike in Ramat Gan that left one person dead, on May 15, 2021 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
    Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a rocket strike in Ramat Gan that left one person dead, on May 15, 2021 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
  • Palestinian and Israeli residents of the coastal city of Jaffa near Tel Aviv, hold a banner as they take part in a rally on May 15, 2021, as Palestinians mark the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba, the "catastrophe" of Israel's creation in 1948 (Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)
    Palestinian and Israeli residents of the coastal city of Jaffa near Tel Aviv, hold a banner as they take part in a rally on May 15, 2021, as Palestinians mark the 73rd anniversary of the Nakba, the "catastrophe" of Israel's creation in 1948 (Ahmad GHARABLI / AFP)
  • Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a rocket strike in Ramat Gan that left one person dead, on May 15, 2021 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
    Police and rescue personnel at the scene of a rocket strike in Ramat Gan that left one person dead, on May 15, 2021 (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
  • Israeli on Tel Aviv beach run for shelter as sirens signal incoming rockets from Gaza on May 15, 2021 (Twitter screenshot)
    Israeli on Tel Aviv beach run for shelter as sirens signal incoming rockets from Gaza on May 15, 2021 (Twitter screenshot)
  • Palestinians gather around a car after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike in retaliation for rocket fire, in Gaza City, May 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ali)
    Palestinians gather around a car after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike in retaliation for rocket fire, in Gaza City, May 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Mohammed Ali)
  • The scene of a rocket impact in Ramat Gan, May 15, 2021 (video screenshot)
    The scene of a rocket impact in Ramat Gan, May 15, 2021 (video screenshot)

The Times of Israel liveblogged Saturday’s events as they unfolded. For a recap of Friday’s events, click here.

Ex-Iran parliament speaker Ali Larijani registers to run for president

A former speaker of Iran’s parliament registers to run in the Islamic Republic’s upcoming presidential election, becoming the first high-profile candidate to potentially back the policies of the outgoing administration that reached Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers.

The decision by Ali Larijani, long a prominent conservative voice who later allied himself with Iran’s relatively moderate President Hassan Rouhani, comes on the last day of registration for the June 18 election. While a panel overseen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ultimately will approve candidates, Larijani has maintained close ties to the cleric over his decades in government.

In this Feb. 17, 2020, file photo, former Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani speaks to journalists at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Journalists in Tehran watch Larijani, 63, register at the Interior Ministry, which oversees elections. He waves to onlookers after completing the process, his face covered by a blue surgical mask as Iran continues to battle the coronavirus pandemic.

Beersheba home struck by rocket; no casualties

In the latest rocket barrage from Gaza, one rocket struck a home in Beersheba. There are no casualties in the attack.

IDF says 200 rockets launched at Israel since last night

The Israel Defense Forces says some 200 rockets were launched at Israel from Gaza between 7 p.m. yesterday and 7 a.m. today.

The army says Iron Dome intercepted over 100 of the rockets, and 30 fell inside Gaza.

The air defense system targets only rockets calculated to hit populated areas.

Rockets are launched from Gaza City, towards Israel early on May 15, 2021. (Photo by MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

Fatah’s Rajoub: No Arab leaders have contacted PA amid escalation

Fatah Secretary-General Jibril Rajoub says no Arab leaders have contacted Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas amid the escalation in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

According to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, Rajoub says in an appeal to such leaders on Palestine TV: “This is an Islamic-Christian battle that defends your dignity… the Palestinian people are in the first line of defense for your dignity, your oil and your security.”

He adds: “From the behavior of part of the official Arab system, we felt that there was collusion with [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s behavior to perpetuate the division [among Palestininas].”

Senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, attends by video conference a meeting with deputy Hamas chief Saleh al-Arouri (unseen) discussing Israel’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank, on July 2, 2020. (Abbas Momani/AFP)

Gaza medics say family of 10 killed in Israeli airstrike on western Gaza

A family of 10 were killed earlier today in an Israeli airstrike on the western Gaza Strip, medics in the Palestinian enclave said.

Eight children and two women, all belonging to the Abu Hatab family, were killed in the three-story building in Shati refugee camp that collapsed following an Israeli strike, medical sources say.

UAE official said to warn Hamas planned infrastructure projects in danger

In the wake of the Abraham Accords, the United Arab Emirates had in recent months been in contact with Hamas in Gaza about various potential infrastructure projects to improve the lives of residents there, the Globes newspaper reports.

A senior UAE official tells the paper that such projects will not move forward if Hamas does not maintain calm in the territory.

“We are still ready and willing to promote civil projects in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority and under UN management [in Gaza], but our necessary condition is calm,” the unnamed official says.

“If Hamas does not commit to complete calm, it is dooming the residents of the Strip to a life of suffering. Its leaders must understand that their policies are first and foremost hurting the people of Gaza.”

Black smoke billows after an Israeli airstrike on Gaza City targets the Intaj Bank linked to Hamas on May 14, 2021 (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

Rocket sirens heard in Ashkelon, Gaza periphery

Fresh rocket alert sirens blare in Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip, including in Yad Mordechai, Netiv Ha’asara and Ashkelon.

Military says it struck dozens of terror targets in Gaza overnight

The Israeli military says it struck dozens of terror targets throughout Gaza overnight, including many rocket-launching positions.

Among those was a long-range launchers used to fire rockets at Jerusalem in the Monday salvo that began the latest conflict, the army says.

Several terror cells were hit on their way to launch rockets, the IDF says, as was a Hamas post with an anti-tank missile launcher.

Other targets hit included a tunnel shaft located at a beachside hotel, “operational apartments” of Hamas naval forces, two homes of Hamas commanders used as command posts in the past and weapons warehouses. Among the equipment stored in the latter were paragliders for use in aerial infiltration attempts.

19 people hospitalized in Beersheba after rockets, most hurt running to shelters

Nineteen people have been taken to Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center after the latest barrage — 16 of them lightly hurt while running to shelters, and three suffering from shock.

Iran judiciary chief Raisi announces presidency bid

Iran’s ultraconservative judiciary chief and one-time presidential hopeful Ebrahim Raisi announces his candidacy for next month’s presidential election, according to a statement on local media.

Former judge Raisi was the leading rival to the incumbent President Hassan Rouhani in the 2017 election, and long the topic of media speculation for this year’s race.

In his statement, Raisi says he came forward over intense “public demand”, and aims to run “independently in order to bring about a change in the executive management of the country.”

Ebrahim Raisi, Head of Iran’s Judiciary, speaks during a ceremony on the occasion of first anniversary of death of late Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) general Qasem Soleimani, in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 1, 2021. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

He also vows to wage “a relentless fight against poverty and corruption, humiliation and discrimination,” the main slogans of his campaign four years ago.

Three Egged buses burned in Shfaram, company chief says will boost security

Three buses belonging to the Egged bus company were burned in the Arab town of Shfaram overnight.

Egged CEO Avi Friedman says the company will boost security at its parking sites to prevent such events from recurring.

“We are a part of Israeli society, we have workers of all stripes, Christians, Arabs, Circassians, and we’ll do everything to maintain social cohesion,” Friedman says. “We have no choice as a society and a people but to maintain coexistence.”

Car of Labor MK Efrat Rayten set alight in Jaffa overnight

The car of new Labor MK Efrat Rayten was set alight in Jaffa overnight.

It is not immediately clear who burned the legislator’s vehicle or whether they knew it was her’s. Another building resident’s car was also burned.

Jaffa has seen days of ethnic unrest, mostly by the Arab population.

US envoy to meet Israeli, Palestinian leaders

After arriving in Israel yesterday, US envoy for Israel-Palestinian affairs Hady Amr is due to meet Israeli leaders in Jerusalem today before heading to the West Bank for talks with Palestinian officials.

He wants to encourage a “sustainable calm,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Jalina Porter said.

Hady Amr (US State Department)

Gaza death toll at 140; Egypt takes in seriously wounded for treatment

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reports 139 killed since the start of the recent hostilities between Israel and the terror group, 39 of them minors.

Another 1000 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.

Egypt is opening its Rafah border crossing with Gaza today to allow in 10 ambulances carrying seriously injured Palestinians for treatment in Egyptian hospitals, medical officials say.

A Palestinian boy who fled his home due to Israeli air and artillery strikes sits on a mattress outside a school hosting refugees in Gaza city, on May 14, 2021 (MOHAMMED ABED / AFP)

PM’s spokesman: Hamas to blame for civilian deaths in Gaza

After the reported death of a family of 10 in an Israeli strike in Gaza this morning, eight of them children, the prime minister’s Arab-language spokesman blames Hamas, Channel 12 reports.

“Hamas bears full blame for the deaths of civilians in Gaza,” he says in a statement. “It sought this escalation and started it when it attacked Jerusalem. It intentionally buried its rocket launchers and weapons caches and posts in the center of residential areas and this is a war crime. It attacks our citizens to kill as many of them as possible and that is another war crime.”

Rocket sirens sound in communities near Gaza

Alert sirens are again heard in Israeli communities near Gaza, signaling incoming rockets. Sirens sound in Kissufim, Ein Hashlosha, Nir Oz and other locations.

Zarif cancels trip to Austria after it flies Israeli flag on official buildings

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has canceled a planned visit to Austria today after the country flew the Israeli flag on several official buildings in solidarity with the Jewish state as it battles Hamas in Gaza.

Talks are ongoing in Vienna as world powers attempt to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif speaks during a press conference with his Iraqi counterpart, Fouad Hussein during his visit to Baghdad, Iraq on July 19, 2020. (AP/Hadi Mizban)

Military says it shot down suicide drone from Gaza

The Israeli military says its forces have shot down an explosives-carrying drone that flew into Israeli territory from Gaza.

Some 2,300 rockets fired from Gaza this week; nearly 400 landed within the Strip

Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip have fired roughly 2,300 rockets and mortar shells toward Israel since the outbreak of fighting on Monday, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The military says at least 380 of the projectiles failed to cross the border and landed within the coastal enclave.

According to the IDF, approximately 1,000 of the projectiles, which were heading toward populated areas, were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system.

Israel’s Iron Dome aerial defence system is activated to intercept a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip, on May 12, 2021. (EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP)

IDF says it thwarted infiltration attack against Israelis from Lebanon

The military says it thwarted an attempted infiltration attack against Israelis along the Lebanese border last night.

The army says during the night its forces identified several suspects cutting the border fence and digging beneath it. The troops fired at the men’s lowed bodies and they fled.

Searches of the area revealed items suspected to be bombs. The military says the suspects’ behavior and evidence at the scene point toward a plan to infiltrate into Israel and carry out an attack in the area of Metula.

Rocket hits farm in Eshkol, three cows killed

In the last rocket barrage by Gaza terror groups toward towns along the border, a rocket landed on a farm causing damage.

A spokesperson for the Eshkol regional council says three cows were killed as a result of the impact.

Lebanese protesters said to be on their way to Israeli border

Palestinian protesters in Lebanon are reported to be on their way to the Israeli border on buses to protest against the Jewish state.

Yesterday saw dozens riot on the border, setting fires and briefly crossing into Israeli territory. Israeli tanks fired warning shots at a number of the rioters who crossed the border fence between the countries, the Israel Defense Forces said. A Lebanese man was killed, and the Hezbollah terror group said he was a member.

In Jordan peaceful protests also taking place near the border today.

Rocket warning sirens wail throughout Tel Aviv, central Israel

Rocket sirens blare in Tel Aviv and central Israel after a night of intense cross-border fire in Gaza.

Reports say it is a heavy barrage. Sirens were heard in Tel Aviv, Rishon Lezion, Holon, Bat Yam, Ashdod, Yavne, Rehovot, Givatayim, Petha Tikva, Kiryat Ono and more.

Iron Dome interceptors can be seen bringing down several rockets.

There are no immediate reports of impacts or casualties.

Rocket explodes in central Ramat Gan

A rocket has exploded in central Ramat Gan. Rescue services are at the scene.

Impacts are also reported in Rishon Lezion. A spokesperson for Magen David Adom says there are no apparent injuries in the recent attacks.

Footage from Ramat Gan shows a car burning and damage to nearby buildings.

In Rishon Lezion a fire was caused in an open field from a rocket landing nearby.

Hamas says it fired dozens of rockets in response to killing of family of 10

Hamas says it fired dozens of rockets at central Israel in response to the killing of a Palestinian family of 10 in Gaza overnight, eight of which are reported to have been children.

Rocket sirens again sound throughout central, southern Israel

Rocket sirens blare in Tel Aviv and central Israel for a second time today.

There are no immediate reports of impacts.

IDF says it struck some 20 rocket launchers in Gaza today

The Israel Defense Forces says it struck some 20 rocket launchers in the Gaza Strip that were aimed at central and southern Israel.

The strikes were conducted between 1 a.m. and 11 a.m. today, the military says.

Man killed in Ramat Gan rocket strike amid barrage from Gaza

A man aged around 50 has been killed as a result of a rocket strike in Ramat Gan. Police now say two rockets hit the city.

Several other people suffered light injuries.

A photo from the scene of a rocket impact in Ramat Gan, central Israel, May 15, 2021 (Israel Police)
A photo from the scene of a rocket impact in Ramat Gan, central Israel, May 15, 2021 (Israel Police)

Report of attempted car ramming at West Bank junction, assailant neutralized

The IDF says it has preliminary reports of an attempted car-ramming attack at the Zif Junction, south of Hebron.

No soldiers have been hurt. An assailant was neutralized at the scene, the military says.

IDF strikes rocket launcher, Hamas operatives in Gaza

The IDF says it struck a rocket launcher in the northern Gaza Strip.

The military adds that it also struck and killed three Hamas members in Khan Younis and Bureij involved in preparing rockets to be fired.

Rocket explodes in the Arab town of Taibe, northeast of Tel Aviv

A rocket explodes in the Arab town of Taibe, northeast of Tel Aviv. There are no reports of casualties.

Rocket said to fall near West Bank settlement

One of the rockets in the recent Gaza barrage fell near the settlement of Karnei Shomron, not far from the Palestinian city of Qalqilya, reports indicate.

Report: Israel warns Al Jazeera, other media to leave Gaza building

Israel has warned people in a building that houses several media outlets in Gaza, including Al Jazeera, to evacuate, according to reports from the Strip.

The military has allegedly told occupants the building will be bombed within an hour.

Father of 4 kids killed in Gaza: ‘They were safe at home, did not carry weapons’

Speaking outside Shifa hospital in Gaza City, the father of four of the children killed in the overnight strike at the Shati refugee camp in Gaza says he wants the unjust world to see these crimes.”

Muhammad al-Hadidi says of his children: “They were safe in their homes, they did not carry weapons, they did not fire rockets. They were killed wearing their clothes for Eid al-Fitr,” the holiday marking the end of Ramadan.

Israeli military sources, quoted by Channel 12 news, are now saying “senior Hamas figures” were meeting in the building at the time, and it is “not clear” how many of them were among the dead.

Palestinians look for belongings to salvage among the rubble of a building following Israeli airstrikes in Gaza City, on May 15, 2021. (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

Video shows beachgoers flee as rocket sirens sounded in Tel Aviv

Footage has emerged of people fleeing the beach in Tel Aviv as sirens sounded in the city earlier.

Several rockets said to explode near Palestinian West Bank towns

Ynet is reporting that several rockets fired from Gaza earlier exploded near Palestinian towns in the West Bank, including Ramallah and Tulkarm.

Exact numbers and locations are not currently known.

Arab celebrations at scene of rocket strike in Taibe: ‘Redeem Al-Aqsa!’

Celebrations are seen at the scene of a rocket strike in Taibe.

Some residents of the Arab town have gathered and are calling out: “With spirit, with blood, we’ll redeem Al-Aqsa!”

This is in reference to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, tensions surrounding which were the spark that set off the past week of violence.

After warning occupants, IDF destroys Gaza tower used by AP, Al Jazeera, others

The Israel Defense Forces destroyed the Al Jalaa tower in Gaza. The building houses several media outlets in Gaza, including The Associated Press and Al Jazeera.

The military earlier called occupants and told them the building would be bombed within an hour. It also sent a “roof-knocking” missile that does not cause serious damage as a warning to leave.

In addition to its civilian occupants, Channel 12 news’ military reporter speculates that “buildings such as this” include “cyber centers, weapons stores and various communications hubs” used by Gaza’s terror groups.

Hamas threatens to fire rockets at central Israel after Gaza tower destroyed

Abu Obeida, the spokesman of Hamas’s military wing, threatens to target central Israel after the IDF destroys the Al Jalaa tower in Gaza.

“After the bombing of the civilian tower in Gaza, residents of Tel Aviv and the center must be on standby,” the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades’ spokesman says.

Austrian envoy says Gaza rocket struck near embassy in Ramat Gan

Austria’s envoy to Israel says a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza landed near the Austrian embassy in Ramat Gan.

“Luckily we‘re all safe. This has to stop immediately!” Ambassador Hannah Liko tweets.

Yesterday, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz flew an Israel flag at the chancellory building in Vienna in solidarity with Israel during the current hostilities in Gaza.

IDF: Gaza tower housed Hamas ‘military assets,’ terror group used press as ‘human shields’

The Israel Defense Forces says the high-rise building in Gaza that it just destroyed — where several leading international media outlets had offices — housed “military assets” used by the military intelligence wing of the Strip’s Hamas rulers.

The IDF accuses Hamas of “hiding behind” the offices of the press outlets in the Al Jalaa tower and “using them as human shields.”

“The Hamas terror group intentionally locates its military assets in the hearts of civil populations in the Gaza Strip,” it says in a statement.

The military also notes it warned those in the building before the strike and says it gave them sufficient time to clear out.

Rocket warning sirens in kibbutz near Gaza border

A rocket warning sounds off in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, shortly after sirens rang out in the Gaza border community of Kerem Shalom.

Ambulance service says it has treated 46 Israelis since midnight amid Gaza rockets

The Magen David Adom ambulance service says it has provided medical service to 46 people hurt since midnight, including seven wounded by shrapnel from rockets fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza — one of whom was killed.

MDA says 33 of those were hurt while running to bomb shelters; another 24 people have been treated for shock.

The man in Ramat Gan who died was the 10th person in Israel to be killed since the fighting in Gaza erupted Monday evening.

Gantz: Israel not looking for escalation in West Bank, but ‘ready for any scenario’

Defense Minister Benny Gantz says Israel is not seeking an intensification of clashes in the West Bank, a day after at least nine Palestinians were reported killed by Israeli fire during violent riots.

“Alongside the fighting in the Gaza Strip, we are also seeing an escalation in other [military] sectors, among them Judea and Samaria,” Gantz says after holding an assessment with top security officials at IDF Central Command, using the biblical name for the West Bank.

“I want to convey a message to the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria — the State of Israel has no interest in an escalation in Judea and Samaria but is ready for any scenario,” he continues. “In Gaza the residents are suffering because of the Hamas rule, while the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria can enjoy the calm and stable economy.”

He also warns Palestinian leaders against inflaming tensions and says that if there is an increase in terror attacks, “we’ll be forced to cancel steps that are meant to help the Palestinian economy and society after the year of coronavirus.”

Turning to Gaza, Gantz says “we exacted a very heavy price from Hamas over the past day” and that Israel has more attack plans up its sleeve.

IDF says it downed explosives-laden drone that then fell on 2 Hamas operatives, killing them

The IDF says it thwarted an attempt by Hamas terrorists in Gaza City to launch an explosives-laden drone at Israel.

“As a result of the downing of the drone it fell on the launch cell and killed two operatives,” a statement from the Israel Defense Forces says.

Anti-Israel marches held in London, Madrid amid Gaza fighting

Thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters in London and Madrid march against Israel as some of the worst fighting in years rages between the Israeli military and terrorists in Gaza.

In London, several thousand protesters carrying placards reading “Stop Bombing Gaza” and chanting “Free Palestine” converge on Marble Arch, near the British capital’s Hyde Park, to march towards the Israeli embassy.

Israel’s Channel 12 news, which has a reporter at the protest, airs footage of protesters marching on a small Israeli flag placed on the ground.

In Madrid, some 2,500 people, many of them young people wrapped in Palestinian flags, march to the Puerta del Sol plaza in the city center.

“This is not a war, it’s genocide,” they chant.

Pro-Palestinian activists and supporters in London let off smoke flares, wave flags and carry placards during a demonstration against Israel amid fighting between the Jewish state and Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, on May 15, 2021. (Tolga Akmen/AFP)

“They are massacring us,” says Amira Sheikh-Ali, a 37-year-old of Palestinian origin.

“We’re in a situation when the Nakba is continuing in the middle of the 21st century,” she says, referring to the “catastrophe” of Israel’s establishment in 1948.

“We want to ask Spain and the European authorities not to collaborate with Israel, because with their silence, they are collaborating,” says Ikhlass Abousousiane, a 25-year-old nurse of Moroccan origin.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

Rocket warning sirens in Sderot, other Gaza border communities

Palestinian terrorists continue to fire projectiles at Israeli towns near the Gaza border, with rocket warning sirens ringing out in Sderot and several other communities in the area.

AP says ‘shocked and horrified’ by IDF’s razing of tower that housed its Gaza office

Gary Pruitt, the president and CEO of the Associated Press, releases a statement on Israel’s leveling of a high-rise building that housed the American news agency’s offices in Gaza, as well as those of other international press outlets:

We are shocked and horrified that the Israeli military would target and destroy the building housing AP’s bureau and other news organizations in Gaza. They have long known the location of our bureau and knew journalists were there. We received a warning that the building would be hit.

We are seeking information from the Israeli government and are engaged with the US State Department to try to learn more.

This is an incredibly disturbing development. We narrowly avoided a terrible loss of life. A dozen AP journalists and freelancers were inside the building and thankfully we were able to evacuate them in time.

The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what happened today.

Pro-Palestinian protesters in Berlin throw firecrackers at Israeli reporter

Pro-Palestinian protesters at an anti-Israel rally in Berlin hurled firecrackers at an Israeli reporter for the Kan public broadcaster.

Antonia Yamin says the demonstrators threw the firecrackers after hearing her report on the protest in Hebrew.

Rocket warning sirens heard in southern communities

Rocket warning sirens are heard in numerous southern communities as Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fire another volley of rockets at Israel.

White House urges Israel to ensure journalists’ safety after bombing of Gaza media tower

White House press secretary Jen Psaki says the US has “communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility.”

The tweet comes shortly after Israel bombed the Gaza building that housed the offices of AP and Al Jazeera, saying it was also being used by Hamas operatives.

The comments from the White House appear to be the closest thing to criticism from the US of Israeli actions in Gaza since the start of the latest round of violence.

US President Joe Biden has stated Israel has a right to defend itself against Hamas rocket fire.

Hamas says Israel bombed home of its deputy leader in Gaza

According to official Hamas media, the Israeli military conducted an airstrike on the home of senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya in Gaza City.

Al-Hayya, a member of the Hamas political bureau and the deputy leader in the coastal enclave, lives in the Shejaiya refugee camp in Gaza City.

There are no immediate reports of casualties and it’s unclear Al-Hayya was home at the time of the alleged strike.

Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official, speaks during a press conference in Gaza City, November 27, 2017. (Adel Hana/AP)

Paris cops clash with pro-Palestinian protesters who rally despite ban

PARIS — Police officers use tear gas and water cannons in Paris to try and disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held despite a ban by authorities, who fear a flare-up of antisemitic violence during the worst fighting between Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group in years.

Thousands of people converge in the heavily immigrant Barbes neighborhood in the north of the capital, defying orders issued by loudspeakers that the march was illegal.

Officers block off wide boulevards as well as narrow streets where some of the protesters are forced to retreat, while knots of residents and passers-by watch or record the scene with their phones.

Some throw stones or try to set up roadblocks with construction barriers, but for the most part police pursue groups across the district while preventing any march toward the Place de la Bastille as planned.

“You want to prohibit me from showing solidarity with my people, even as my village is being bombed?” Mohammed, 23 and wearing a “Free Palestine” t-shirt, tells AFP.

The march was banned Thursday over concerns of a repeat of fierce clashes that erupted at a similar Paris march during the last war in 2014, when protesters took aim at synagogues and other Israeli and Jewish targets.

A French police officer runs toward pro-Palestinian protesters demonstrating in Paris despite a ban by French authorities, May 15, 2021. (Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP)

IDF confirms bombing home of Hamas deputy leader in Gaza, releases video of strike

The Israel Defense Forces confirms bombing the Gaza City home of Khalil al-Hayya, the deputy leader of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, releasing a video of the strike.

An IDF statement says the home was being used as “terror infrastructure,” without elaborating.

All residents of Eshkol region told to enter bomb shelters amid heavy rocket barrage

The Eshkol Regional Council instructs all residents of communities under its jurisdiction to enter bomb shelters until instructed otherwise, as Palestinian terrorists in Gaza continue to fire barrages of rockets at southern Israel.

Monkey at Ramat Gan safari undergoes surgery after being wounded by rocket shrapnel

A monkey at the Ramat Gan Safari Park was wounded by shrapnel from a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza when it exploded in the central Israeli city.

The monkey is being operated on at a veterinary hospital, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

Israel said warning residents of upscale Gaza City neighborhood to leave their homes

Residents of Gaza City’s upscale al-Rimal neighborhood are being warned by Israel to leave their homes, Al Jazeera reports, ahead of possible Israeli strikes.

IDF bombs Hamas rocket launchers, including some underground

The IDF says fighter jets bombed a number of Hamas rocket launch sites that were aimed at central and southern Israel.

Some of the launch sites were underground, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

UK envoy says he lives several blocks from where Ramat Gan man was killed by Gaza rocket

Britain’s ambassador to Israel wishes his condolences to the family of a Ramat Gan man killed today by a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza, which he says struck near his home in the central Israeli city.

“A man my age was killed by a missile a few streets from my house this afternoon. My deepest condolences to his family at this terrible time for them. May his memory be a blessing,” UK Ambassador Neil Wigan writes on Twitter.

Building in Eshkol region hit by Gaza rocket; family not at home

A building in the Eshkol Regional Council was directly hit by a rocket during the recent bombardment by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.

A spokesperson says the family was not at home at the time.

Two projectiles also fell in communities in the region, but did not cause damage or injuries.

The regional council also cancels the order requiring all residents to remain in their bomb shelters, but stresses they should remain close to the shelters.

IDF says Gaza media tower housed Hamas military intel’s R&D unit

The Israel Defense Forces releases another statement on its destruction of a high-rise building in Gaza that housed the offices of The Associated Press and Al Jazeera, after the White House commented on the matter and the two news outlets criticized the bombing.

Besides being used by Hamas military intelligence, the IDF says the terror group had other offices in the Al Jala building, as did Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

According to the IDF, Hamas military intelligence’s research and development unit operated out of the building and was responsible for numerous “acts of sabotage” against Israel, without elaborating. It also says the unit uses “the most valuable technology” in Hamas’s possession.

“The unit used these abilities against Israel on a number of occasions to try to sabotage and disrupt the activities of the IDF and citizens in the area near the border,” it says.

PEN America calls Israeli strike on Gaza media tower ‘deeply disturbing’

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An American organization promoting literature and freedom of speech has called an Israeli airstrike on a building in Gaza that was home to the offices of The Associated Press and other media “deeply disturbing.”

PEN America says in a statement after today’s strike that the only reason the world knows about the ongoing fighting between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Israel is due to the “tireless, indefatigable work of journalists, risking their lives to inform the world.”

The organization demands a detailed accounting of why Israel launched the strike, which destroyed the high-rise building.

PEN America adds that “the resulting destruction will hobble the ability of professional journalists to do their work documenting a fraught, complex conflict at a critical time.”

Ra’am chief Abbas calls for calming ethnic violence

Ra’am chief Mansour Abbas, whose Islamist party emerged as a potential kingmaker after the March 23 elections, calls on all Israelis to temper the ethnic tensions roiling the country.

In an interview with Channel 12 news, Abbas says he hopes the current fighting in the Gaza Strip between Israel and the Hamas terror group will end in the next 48 hours. Israel’s Jews and Arabs will then need to engage in soul-searching, he says.

He also says he was just in Jaffa, where he notes an Arab boy was seriously hurt when a Molotov cocktail was thrown into his home. He says a fire bomb was also thrown into another home there rented by Jews.

Abbas says Jews and Arabs have to sit together and heal relations.

Netanyahu assures Biden that Israel seeking to limit civilian casualties in Gaza

For the second time this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with US President Joe Biden about the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza, his office says.

During the call earlier today, Netanyahu updated Biden on Israel’s operations in Gaza and what future steps it plans to take there, according to the Israeli readout.

Netanyahu thanked Biden for the “unwavering support” of the United States for Israel’s right to defend itself.

Netanyahu “emphasized in the conversation that Israel is doing everything to avoid harming innocent civilians and the proof of this is that in towers where there are terror targets attacked by the IDF, they are given time to evacuate first,” according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Fresh rioting at several sites along Israel-Lebanon border

The IDF reports fresh rioting in Lebanon at a number of locations along the border between the countries.

“The rioters are throwing objects and Molotov cocktails and damaging the [security] fence,” a statement from the Israel Defense Forces said.

IDF troops are responding with riot dispersal means and warning fire toward a number of the rioters, according to the statement.

The military also says the clashes aren’t near Israeli communities.

Liberman: Netanyahu a ‘Hamas collaborator’ who wants fighting to continue for electoral reasons

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman appears to blame Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the descent into conflict with Hamas and the way the current round of violence is playing out.

Interviewed on Channel 12, the former Netanyahu ally turned opponent says the tensions of recent weeks didn’t need to unfold this way, “so you have to ask, what is the [Israeli] strategic goal?”

Liberman then answers his own question:

“The strategic goal of this round of conflict is to improve Netanyahu’s status among the Israeli public, in order to drag us to fifth elections… So long as the mandate to form a government is with Yair Lapid, Netanyahu will try to drag out the conflict.”

There’s never been so weak an Israeli cabinet, Liberman adds, accusing Netanyahu of manipulating all the ministers.

From an Israeli security perspective, Liberman says the conflict has to end with Hamas disarming as part of an arrangement to allow economic aid into Gaza, and with the return of the bodies of 2 fallen soldiers held by Hamas. If not, all the fighting will have been for nothing, he says.

“Hamas started this conflict, Hamas for the first time created an internal front against us inside Israel, Hamas has taken control of the Palestinian street; it is wiping out Fatah,” he says.

During the interview, he says the Hamas rockets were financed by the money Netanyahu has allowed into Gaza.

He also calls Netanyahu a “Hamas collaborator,” saying the premier and the Gaza-ruling terror group are the only two factors that have an interest in the hostilities continuing.

Topaz Luk, Netanyahu’s digital media advisor, takes to Twitter in response, calling Liberman a “disgusting and repulsive man.”

Joe Biden, Mahmoud Abbas speak by phone amid Gaza hostilities

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and United States President Joe Biden spoke on the phone today, amid the current hostilities in Gaza.

“The two discussed the latest developments,” says senior PA minister Hussein al-Sheikh, a close Abbas aide.

It was the first phone call between the two since Biden was inaugurated in January.

Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Joe Biden after their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. (AP/Bernat Armangue)

TV: Ceasefire proposals have been floated but Israel wants several more days of fighting

Channel 12 news reports that several initiatives have been raised to halt the fighting in Gaza, but Israel is making clear it isn’t seeking a ceasefire at this stage.

Israel’s political leadership favors several more days of fighting to complete the missions that the IDF is interested in carrying out, according to the report.

“This is not the time for a ceasefire. We are continuing,” an unnamed senior Israeli source is quoted as saying.

At the same time, the source says, plainly the coming week will see ceasefire discussions.

Israel believes it still has diplomatic room to maneuver, but knows this room is not unlimited, the report adds.

The network also reports US President Joe Biden Biden initiated the call with Prime Minister Netanyahu today and that the United States is very worried by the IDF strikes in Gaza, and especially the destruction of the tower where some foreign media outlets had their offices.

The Prime Minister’s Office says Netanyahu assured Biden that Israel is doing its utmost to prevent civilian casualties, as underlined by the warnings it issues before hitting targets where citizens are at risk.

Gantz to US counterpart: Israel ‘doing everything possible’ to avoid hitting non-combatants

Defense Minister Benny Gantz speaks by phone with his American counterpart Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin amid the ongoing fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Gantz’s office says he thanked Austin for the US administration’s backing of Israel’s right to defend itself.

“Gantz stressed to Austin that Israel is doing everything possible to refrain from harming the uninvolved and its goal is to achieve long-term calm vis-a-vis the [Hamas] terror group which aims to harm population centers,” it says in a statement.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, left, fist-bumps US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin at the Nevatim Air Base in southern Israel on April 12, 2021. (Ariel Hermoni/Defense Ministry)

TV: Cops believe suspects who threw firebomb that seriously hurt Jaffa boy may be Arab

Channel 12 news reports that police increasingly suspect the firebombing of the Jaffa home in which a 12-year-old Arab boy was seriously injured may have been carried out by Arab rioters.

Several neighboring Jewish homes were also targeted at the same time, it says.

Rocket sirens heard in Ashkelon, Netivot and other Gaza border communities

Rocket warning sirens are heard in the southern cities of Ashkelon and Netivot, as well as in numerous other communities near the Gaza Strip.

Chief of Iran’s Quds Force speaks with Hamas leader

TEHRAN, Iran — An Iranian state TV channel says the head of the expeditionary force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard has had a phone call with the head of the Hamas terror group.

Al-Alam, the Arabic-language service of the Iranian state television, reports that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke by telephone with Quds Force commander Gen. Esmail Ghaani.

Ghaani reportedly praised Hamas as offering a “unique and successful answer” to Israel.

Hamas officials have praised Iran for providing it weapons and aid in its fighting against Israel, Tehran’s regional rival.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia call for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — The foreign ministers of Egypt and Saudi Arabia are calling for an immediate ceasefire in the fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

It says that Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan had spoken to Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.

It says the two both agreed that an immediate ceasefire was needed. Egypt has been trying to negotiate a stop to the fighting.

The Saudi statement also says the two diplomats called on “the international community to confront the aggressive Israeli practices against the brotherly Palestinian people.”

IDF strikes 2 Islamic Jihad operatives involved in rocket launches

The Israel Defense Forces says military aircraft struck two Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives involved in firing rockets toward Israeli territory.

The IDF says one of the terrorists was killed in Khan Younis and the other in the al-Muazi refugee camp.

IDF: 278 rockets fired at Israel by Gaza terrorists since 7 a.m.

The military says Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have fired 278 rockets at Israel since 7 a.m.

Of those, 40 rockets landed in Gaza, short of their intended targets, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

The IDF also says the Iron Dome missile defense system shot down “many dozens” of rockets, without specifying.

Intense fighting in Gaza expected to delay ceasefire ‘by a few days’

After initially being cautiously optimistic about a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas over the weekend, a diplomatic source familiar with the negotiations tells The Times of Israel that the intense violence since last night will likely delay such an agreement “by a few days.”

IDF bombs Gaza house of Hamas special operations command chief

The Israel Defense Forces says a fighter jet bombed the house of Ra’id Saad, who it describes as the head of Hamas’s special operations command for all the Gaza Strip.

An IDF statement says Sa’ad’s home served as “military infrastructure” for Hamas, without elaborating.

Earlier, the IDF said it bombed the homes of Hamas “brigade commander” Ghazi Tama’a and “battalion commander” Tayseer Mubasher.

https://twitter.com/idfonline/status/1393623942926147590

Gantz meets with IDF brass before ‘continuation’ of nighttime operations in Gaza

Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets with IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Eyal Zamir and other top military commanders ahead of “the continuation of active operations this evening” in Gaza, his office says.

Iran FM scraps Vienna trip in protest of Austria flying Israeli flag

BERLIN — Iran’s foreign minister has called off a planned visit to his Austrian counterpart in Vienna. The decision comes after Austria’s chancellery and foreign ministry flew the Israeli flag as a signal of solidarity in Israel’s conflict with the militant Hamas group.

Austrian daily Die Presse reports that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was due to meet Austrian counterpart Alexander Schallenberg today. But he called off the trip over the Austrian leaders’ decision to fly the Israeli flag on Friday.

The Austria Press Agency says Schallenberg’s spokeswoman, Claudia Tuertscher, confirmed the report. She says: “We regret this.”

Vienna has been hosting negotiations in recent weeks aimed at bringing the United States back into the 2015 nuclear deal aimed at allaying concerns about Iran’s nuclear ambitions. France, Germany, Britain, Russia and China are still parties to that agreement.

Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, tweeted yesterday that Austria “so far been a great host for negotiations” but it was “shocking & painful to see flag of the occupying regime, that brutally killed tens of innocent civilians, inc many children in just few days, over govt offices in Vienna.”

Hamas health ministry: 145 killed in Gaza fighting, including 41 minors

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza raises the Palestinian death toll in this week’s fighting between Palestinian terrorists and Israel to 145. Forty-one of the casualties are minors, it says.

It also says over 1,000 people have been wounded.

The ministry doesn’t specify how many of those killed were operatives in Hamas or other terror organizations in Gaza. Israel has said many of those killed were terrorists and that some deaths were caused by errant rockets fired toward Israeli territory that fell short and exploded in Gaza.

Gantz extends state of emergency in Lod by 48 hours

Israel’s Defense Ministry extends the state of emergency by 48 hours in Lod, which has been at the center of ethnic violence that’s rocked Jewish-Arab cities around the country this week.

A statement from Gantz’s office says the move was at the request of police, and noted the continued violence there.

Biden tells Netanyahu of ‘concern’ over Gaza, Jewish-Arab violence, Jerusalem tensions and West Bank

The White House now puts out a readout on US President Joe Biden’s phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he backed Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks by Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups on Israeli population centers.

“The president updated the prime minister on high-level US engagement with regional partners on this issue and discussed ongoing diplomatic efforts. The president noted that this current period of conflict has tragically claimed the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including children. He raised concerns about the safety and security of journalists and reinforced the need to ensure their protection,” the statement says.

Biden also expresses “grave concern” about the ethnic violence between Jews and Arabs in Israel, according to the White House. “He welcomed the statements by the prime minister and other leaders opposing such hateful acts and encouraged continued steps to hold violent extremists accountable and to establish calm,” it says.

The statement further says the two leaders discussed tensions in Jerusalem and “their shared desire” for the city “to be a place of peaceful coexistence for people of all faiths and backgrounds.”

Additionally, Biden “voiced his concern” about recent violence in the West Bank.

“The president voiced his concern about violent confrontations in the West Bank. He expressed his support for steps to enable the Palestinian people to enjoy the dignity, security, freedom, and economic opportunity that they deserve and affirmed his support for a two-state solution,” the statement says.

It concludes: “The leaders agreed to continue the close consultation between their teams and to remain in touch in the days ahead.”

Biden also talks Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza with Abbas

The White House also releases a statement about Biden’s call with his Palestinian Authority counterpart Mahmoud Abbas, saying the US president spoke with him to stress his “commitment to strengthening the US-Palestinian partnership.”

It says the two talked about tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and, using the same wording as the White House statement on Biden’s call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that Biden and Abbas discussed “their shared desire for Jerusalem to be a place of peaceful coexistence for people of all faiths and backgrounds.”

Biden also told Abbas about “US diplomatic engagement on the ongoing conflict” and stressed that the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group needs to halt rocket attacks on Israel, according to the readout.

“They expressed their shared concern that innocent civilians, including children, have tragically lost their lives amidst the ongoing violence. The president expressed his support for steps to enable the Palestinian people to enjoy the dignity, security, freedom, and economic opportunity that they deserve,” the statement says.

It adds that Biden noted that he resumed aid to the Palestinians that was cut by his predecessor Donald Trump and reiterated his backing for “a negotiated two-state solution as the best path to reach a just and lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

IDF strikes Gaza home of another Hamas ‘battalion commander’

The Israel Defense Forces says it struck the Gaza home of Khalid Manaamra, another “battalion commander” in the Hamas terror group.

“At this hour the IDF is continuing to attack terror targets in the Gaza Strip,” it says in a statement.

Hamas hints it may fire rockets at Tel Aviv after midnight

Hamas’s armed wing says the terror group will not strike Tel Aviv between 10 p.m. and midnight.

“By order of Chief of Staff Muhammad Al-Deif, the curfew on Tel Aviv and its surroundings is lifted for two hours from 10 to midnight tonight. Then they shall return to waiting tensely for what is to come,” a spokesperson for Hamas’s armed wing says.

Hamas has promised to strike Tel Aviv and central Israel should Israel continue destroying high-rise residential buildings in Gaza. The Israeli military has destroyed at least one such building today and threatened to destroy another.

Gantz urges world: Whoever ‘values life and liberty’ must back Israel against Hamas

Defense Minister Benny Gantz issues an English-language statement appealing to the international community to back Israel amid the fighting in Gaza between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas terror group.

Gantz says he ordered the IDF to launch Operation Guardian of the Walls after Hamas began firing rockets toward Israel on Monday evening.

“This was not a question of choice. It was a question of duty. Duty to our citizens. Duty to democracy. And duty to the values of life, freedom, and the rule of law. No country, institution, or international body can question our right to protect our citizens and our sovereignty,” he says.

He urges Hamas to “stop terrorizing our people. And stop terrorizing yours.”

“It is absurd that we do everything in our power to avoid hitting your civilians while you cowardly hide behind them,” he says.

Gantz also calls on every world leader “who values life and liberty to take a clear stand against this horrific violence” and support Israel’s right to defend itself.

“I also thank our partners, across the globe, for denouncing Hamas, terror and extremism and supporting the Israeli people’s aspiration to live free of fear,” he says.

Israeli foreign press group says safety of Gaza news bureaus ‘now in question’

Israel’s Foreign Press Association issues a statement on the military’s destruction of a high-rise building in Gaza that housed the offices of some international media outlets, which Israel says was used by Hamas military intelligence.

“Knowingly causing the destruction of the offices of some of the world’s largest and most influential news organizations raises deeply worrying questions about Israel’s willingness to interfere with the freedom of the press to operate,” the statement says.

It adds: “The safety of other news bureaus in Gaza is now in question. At a time when Israel’s border crossing with Gaza is closed, those companies with a bureau in Gaza are more important than ever in reporting events to the world.”

The press group says Israel hasn’t provided evidence the building was used by Hamas.

“We call on parties on both sides of the conflict to restate their commitment to ensuring that foreign news bureaus and operations be allowed to go about their work without being targeted, compromised, or endangered,” it says.

Hamas leader addresses Qatar rally amid Gaza fighting, vows to ramp up attacks

The leader of Hamas says terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip will not retreat in the face of the strong Israeli retaliation to massive rocket fire from the coastal enclave, warning that their fighters still haven’t used all the force at their disposal.

Ismail Haniyeh speaks tonight during a rally attended by hundreds in the gas-rich nation of Qatar. He says that “resistance is the shortest road to Jerusalem” and that Palestinians will not accept anything less than a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.

He adds that “the Zionist enemy struck Gaza, flattened towers and carried out massacres,” thinking that this will make militant groups retreat. He says that as the Israeli attacks escalate, “the resistance will increase [its force] to a higher level.”

Haniyeh also says that despite the fact that Gaza has been under siege for nearly 15 years — to prevent arms from reaching terror groups — these same organizations will not retreat.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

IDF strikes Hamas mortar launchers, weapons dump

The Israel Defense Forces says it has carried out further strikes on Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, including two mortar launch pits in Gaza City.

It also says it struck a weapons dump as part of its effort to thwart Hamas’s anti-tank missile apparatus.

‘There is no more just or moral operation,’ Netanyahu says of Israeli actions in Gaza

Prime Minister Netanyahu gives a televised statement on this week’s fighting between Israel and the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group.

“There is no more just or moral operation,” he says, noting the hostilities began when Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem on Monday evening.

Speaking in Hebrew, Netanyahu thanks US President Joe Biden and other world leaders for backing Israel. He says they know Israeli actions are “just and necessary.”

Unlike Hamas, who Netanyahu notes fires rockets at Israeli population centers, Netanyahu says Israel is doing everything it can to avoid and minimize civilian casualties in Gaza.

He warns terror leaders: “You can’t hide, not above land or below it. No one is immune.”

Referring to Israel’s destruction of high-rise buildings, such as the one today that housed offices of foreign media groups, Netanyahu says these buildings are being used by Hamas and other terror organizations.

Turning to the ethnic violence in Israel, Netanyahu says Israel won’t let Arab rioters attack Jews or Jewish property. While stressing this is not all Arab Israelis, he calls those engaged in the violence a “significant group.”

He also says Israel will deal “severely” with any violent assaults on Arabs by Jews, such as the brutal beating in Bat Yam this week.

“Whoever incites will pay a very heavy price,” he says. “Whoever acts as a terrorist will be punished as a terrorist.”

Returning to the fighting in Gaza, he also says there a “few days” of fighting ahead.

Speaking in English, Netanyahu says Israel taking ‘special care’ to avoid civilian casualties

Now speaking in English, Netanyahu calls Hamas’s firing of rockets at Jerusalem on Monday evening — kicking off this week’s fighting in Gaza — “a totally unprovoked attack.”

“You know and I know no country will not tolerate this. Israel will not tolerate this. Israel has responded forcefully to these attacks and will continue to respond forcefully,” he says.

He accuses Hamas of “committing a double war crime” by firing rockets at Israeli citizens from within population centers in Gaza.

He touts the “special care” Israel takes to avoid civilian casualties, such as alerting occupants of buildings it is going to strike before it bombs them.

He also thanks US President Joe Biden for his “clear and unequivocal support.”

Netanyahu then turns to the ethnic violence in Israel.

“The Jewish state will not tolerate pogroms against our citizens. We will not allow our Jewish citizens to be lynched or live in fear of murderous Arab gangs. We will not tolerate the torching of synagogues and the torching of property,” he says.

He also says Israel won’t allow Jews to take the law into their own hands “and attack innocent Arabs or lynch innocent Arabs,” noting the incident in Bat Yam.

“To tolerate this unacceptable vigilantism and violence is to pave the way to anarchy,” he says.

Netanyahu concludes: “I’m confident Israel will be able to deal with these threats from without and these threats from within.”

Israel says Gaza rocket fire damaged power lines to enclave

The Israel Electric Corporation says that high voltage lines supplying the Gaza Strip with electricity were damaged by rocket fire launched by Palestinian terrorists.

The company releases a statement this evening saying five of the 10 lines have been damaged, in the latest escalation of fighting and that the company cannot fix them because there is no access to the area.

Damage to the power lines came amid days of intense fighting between Palestinian terrorists and Israel in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza’s only other source of electricity — besides the power provided by Israel — is its single power plant, which has been working only partially due to fuel shortages. However, both sources are insufficient to cover Gazans’ needs.

Outages of at least eight hours have long been a daily occurrence in the strip and with the power plant not working at regular capacity, rolling blackouts have increased to 12-15 hours per day recently.

With the latest hits on the power line, more outages are expected.

IDF denies misleading foreign press over nonexistent Gaza invasion: ‘An honest mistake’

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Hidai Zilberman denies intentionally misleading the foreign press about a nonexistent ground invasion of the Gaza Strip as part of a ruse against the Hamas terror group earlier in the week, blaming his unit’s false statements about the matter as an “honest mistake.”

“I have personally conducted a comprehensive investigation into this matter and concluded that the officer involved, Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, made an honest mistake in his conveying of the reality on the ground,” Zilberman writes.

“Despite conspirational reports to the contrary in both international and Israeli press, this was not some elaborate attempt to manipulate the media in order to achieve a tactical victory. By definition and our guiding belief system, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit does not engage in psychological warfare and is tasked with conveying only the truth to the public, a mission we have devotedly undertaken for more than seven decades,” he says.

IDF troops shoot Palestinian in attempted West Bank ramming attack

The Israel Defense Forces says soldiers opened fire at a Palestinian who was attempting to commit a ramming attack near Dahariyya Junction in the West Bank.

According to the Palestinian Authority health ministry, the man, who has yet to be publicly identified, died of his wounds.

IDF says it bombed Gaza bank where Hamas keeps its money

The Israel Defense Forces attacks a bank in Gaza City’s upscale al-Rimal neighborhood where it says Hamas parks its cash and draws funds from to pay the salaries of its operatives.

Rocket warning sirens sound in Tel Aviv, surrounding area after Hamas threat

Incoming rocket sirens sound in Tel Aviv and surrounding towns.

The alarms are also heard in Ashdod, Ashkelon and into the West Bank

The attack comes after Hamas issued a warning that it would renew rocket fire at central Israel after midnight.

Hamas takes responsibility for rockets fired at central Israel

The Hamas terror group takes responsibility for the ongoing rocket fire at central Israel.

A number of interceptions by the Iron Dome missile defense system are reported.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

Warning sirens continue to sound in large parts of country amid Gaza rocket fire

Palestinian terrorists fire several waves of rocket fire at central Israel, triggering repeated air raid sirens throughout large swaths of the country.

Residents of southern Israel report seeing dozens of rockets being fired out of the Gaza Strip.

There have not yet been reports of injuries, save for 10 people hurt while running to bomb shelters, the Magen David Adom ambulance service says.

Rockets, Iron Dome shrapnel said to strike several Israeli cities

Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip and shrapnel from interceptions by the Iron Dome missile defense system have reportedly struck a number of cities in southern and central Israel, including Ashdod, Gan Yavne and Rishon Lezion.

There have still been no reports yet of direct injuries from these strikes, according to the Magen David Adom ambulance service.

Telegram account of Hamas military wing blocked for violating service terms

Telegram has blocked the account of the Hamas terror group’s military wing for violating the messaging app’s terms of service.

It isn’t immediately clear how the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades violated the terms.

Fresh rocket sirens in Netivot, nearby communities

New incoming rocket sirens sound in the town of Netivot and nearby communities of Tekuma and Zimrat, east of Gaza.

Netanyahu says expecting ‘not easy days’ ahead in hostilities with Hamas

Prime Minister Netanyahu tells Israelis to brace for several tough days ahead as the hostilities between Israel and Hamas continue in Gaza.

In a statement, Netanyahu touts the “resilience” of Israeli citizens amid the fighting and says “we have great faith in the righteousness of our way.”

“We need to remember and tell ourselves this: We are right and we can’t come to terms with this terror, with this savagery, with this violence,” he says.

He calls on Israelis to stand united against “terrorists and rioters” — referring also to ongoing ethnic violence in the country — and wishes condolences to the 10 people killed in Israel during the current confrontation.

Netanyahu also urges Israelis to remain near bomb shelters.

“I know there are those who say, ‘we won’t let terror ruin our routine,’ this isn’t true,” he says.

He adds: “We are expecting not easy days but we will stand together united and strong.”

Israeli jets said conducting intensive strikes across Gaza

The Israeli Air Force is conducting intensive airstrikes across the Gaza Strip, Palestinian media reports.

This comes shortly after a large-scale rocket attack on central and southern Israel by the Hamas terror group.

‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,’ shout Brooklyn protesters

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators rally in cities across North America against Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip as the worst violence in years flares up between the Jewish state and the Hamas terror group.

Gatherings to show solidarity with Palestinians take place in cities including Boston, Washington, Montreal and Dearborn, Michigan.

Several hundred people turn out in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, New York, chanting “Free, free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

They wave Palestinian flags and hold placards that read “End Israeli Apartheid” and “Freedom for Gaza.”

Many protesters wear black and white, and red and white, keffiyeh scarves, while drivers sound car horns and motorcyclists revved their engines as the sun beat down.

Several Jewish people attend, carrying placards that said “Not in my name” and “Solidarity with Palestine” as the protesters took over a street in the area which has a large Arab population.

A few dozen police officers look on and the protest is peaceful in its early stages.

Home of Hamas leader in Gaza said hit by Israeli strike

The home of Hamas’s leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, has been bombed in the Israel Defense Forces’ latest strikes in the enclave, Palestinian media reports.

It is not immediately clear if anyone was inside the house at the time.

Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar speaks during a press conference for Quds (Jerusalem) day in Gaza City on 30 May 2019. (Mohammed Abed/AFP)

3 Palestinians killed in latest Israeli airstrikes, dozens hurt — Al Jazeera

Three Palestinians were killed and dozens were wounded in the most recent Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, Al Jazeera reports.

Hamas military wing’s Telegram channel restored, hours after shutdown

The Hamas military wing’s Telegram channel has been restored, hours after it was shut down by the messaging application.

The channel, which was briefly shuttered by Telegram on Saturday night for violating its terms of services, has over 175,000 subscribers.

The terror group also sets up a new account, which already has over 55,000 subscribers.

UN chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by strike on Gaza tower used by media outlets

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “dismayed” by civilian casualties in Gaza and “deeply disturbed” by Israel’s strike on a building containing international media outlets, a spokesman says.

Guterres was “deeply disturbed by the destruction by an Israeli airstrike today of a high-rise building in Gaza City that housed the offices of several international media organizations,” his spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, says in the statement.

Israel says the Al Jala building hid “military assets” used by the intelligence wing of the Strip’s Hamas rulers. The military also noted it warned those in the building before the strike and says it gave them sufficient time to clear out.

Fire and smoke rises from the Jala Tower as it is destroyed in an Israeli airstrike after the IDF warned the occupants to leave, Gaza City, May 15, 2021 (MAHMUD HAMS / AFP)

Gutteres was also “dismayed” by the “increasing number of civilian casualties, including the death of ten members of the same family, including children, as a result of an Israeli airstrike last night,” Dujarric continues.

The Israel Defense Forces said the strike was aimed at top Hamas officials who were meeting in the building.

Rocket warning sirens sound in Gaza border towns

Fresh incoming rocket sirens are sounding in Gaza border communities, following an hourlong lull in rocket fire.

Rocket sirens sound in Beersheba, parts of Negev

Rocket warning sirens are triggered in the southern city of Beersheba and parts of the Negev.

5 rockets said intercepted over Beersheba

Five rockets have been intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defense system over the southern city of Beersheba and seven others fell in open areas, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

The information is not immediately confirmed by the military.

There are no immediate reports of injuries.

Intensive IAF strikes continue to target Gaza

The Israel Air Force has been hitting numerous targets in the Gaza Strip over the past several hours, according to Palestinian and Hebrew media reports.

According to the Walla news site, over 100 airstrikes have been carried out in the past hour, mostly in north and central Gaza.

 

 

2 Palestinians killed, 25 injured in IDF strikes in Gaza — Hamas health ministry

Two Palestinians have been killed and 25 injured in Israel’s overnight bombing campaign in Gaza, the Hamas-run health ministry in the coastal enclave says.

Thousands rally in N. America in solidarity with Palestinians

Thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators rally in cities across North America, calling for an end to Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip as the worst violence in years flared between the Jewish state and Gaza terrorists.

Demonstrations took place in New York, Boston, Washington, Montreal, Dearborn, Michigan and elsewhere.

About 2,000 people turned out in the Bay Ridge area of Brooklyn, chanting “Free, free Palestine” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”

They waved Palestinian flags and held placards that read “End Israeli Apartheid” and “Freedom for Gaza.”

Many protesters wore black and white, and red and white, keffiyeh scarves, while drivers sounded car horns and motorcyclists revved their engines as the sun beat down.

Several Jewish people attended, carrying placards that said “Not in my name” and “Solidarity with Palestine” as the protesters took over a street in the area which has a large Arab population.

A few dozen police officers looked on at the peaceful protest, dubbed “Defend Palestine.

The protests are held on the anniversary of Nakba Day, or “catastrophe,” that saw hundreds of thousands of Palestinians displaced during Israel’s creation in 1947-1948.

Throngs of people gathered in Copley Square in Boston, while a few hundred rallied on the Washington Monument grounds in the US capital.

Several thousand demonstrated in Montreal, calling for “the liberation of Palestine.”

Protesters also denounced “war crimes” committed by Israel in Gaza and carried placards accusing Israel of violating international law during the protest in the center of the Canadian city.

Earlier, a caravan of cars sounded their horns and drove with Palestinian flags blowing in the wind as they protested outside the Israeli consulate in the western part of Montreal.

A protester was arrested for breaking a window, a police spokesperson said, but otherwise the demonstration was peaceful.

Magen David Adom: No reports of injuries following rocket barrage at Beersheba

The Magen David Adom emergency service says that it has not received any reports of injuries following the latest barrage of rockets that were fired toward Beersheba.

In apparent swipe at Israel, AOC tweets, ‘Apartheid states aren’t democracies’

In an apparent swipe at Israel as it approaches a week into Operation Guardian of the Walls responding to Hamas rocket fire, Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweets, “Apartheid states aren’t democracies.”

Recent reports by the Israeli rights group B’Tselem and US group Human Rights Watch also labeled Israel as an apartheid state. Israel vociferously objects to the term, noting that Arab residents have full citizenship.

Senior Haredi rabbis call on public not to visit Western Wall due to security situation

Senior Ashkenazi Haredi Rabbis Gershon Edelstein and Chaim Kanievsky have published a call urging followers not to visit the Western Wall during the Sunday night to Monday Shavuot holiday due to the security situation.

Authorities running the Western Wall are still preparing for thousands of worshipers to visit the site.

Of at least 12 rockets fired at south, 5 intercepted, 7 land in open areas

Of the 12 rockets fired at Beersheba within the hour, five were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile system and seven were allowed to fall in open areas, local authorities say.

Ted Cruz says he’s flying to Israel in coming days

Republican Senator Ted Cruz says he is will be flying to Israel in the coming days “to assess what they need to protect their national security, which is closely tied to America’s national security.”

Earlier this week, he called on Biden to replenish Israel’s stock of Iron Dome missiles in light of the ongoing rocket attacks. In a briefing earlier that day, Israeli security officials told reporters there is no shortage of Iron Dome missiles.

Israeli airstrikes hit buildings, roads in Gaza

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Israeli warplanes have struck several buildings and roads in a vital part of Gaza City.

According to photos circulated by residents and journalists. the airstrikes created a crater that blocked one of the main roads leading to Shifa, the largest hospital in the strip.

The Gaza health ministry said the latest airstrikes left at least two dead and 25 wounded, including children and women. It said rescuers are still digging through the rubble and had so far pulled up five wounded.

Two hours into the heavy bombardment, there has been no comment from the Israeli military.

AP says ‘no indication’ of Hamas activity in office building, calls on Israel to show evidence

The Associated Press says in a statement that it has not seen any “indication Hamas was in the building or active in the building” where its Gaza bureau was located and destroyed earlier today by the IDF.

The wire agency calls on Israel to provide evidence justifying the leveling of the building.

The Israel Defense Forces says that besides being used by Hamas military intelligence, the terror group had other offices in the Al Jala building, as did Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

According to the IDF, Hamas military intelligence’s research and development unit operated out of the building and was responsible for numerous “acts of sabotage” against Israel, without elaborating. It also says the unit uses “the most valuable technology” in Hamas’s possession.

No evidence was provided beyond the claims.

AIPAC-backed top Democrat criticizes Israeli bombing campaign in Gaza

An AIPAC-backed Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has issued a statement condemning parts of Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza.

“I am deeply troubled by reports of Israeli military actions that resulted in the death of innocent civilians in Gaza as well as Israeli targeting of buildings housing international media outlets,” says Sen. Robert Menendez.

“Given the complexity of Gaza’s densely populated civilian areas and Hamas’s shameful record of exploiting that reality by hiding military assets behind the innocent, Israeli authorities must continue to take the conscientious practice of giving advance warning of its attacks to reduce the risk of harm to the innocent. I also believe there must be a full accounting of actions that have led to civilian deaths and destruction of media outlets,” he says.

Blinken talks to AP CEO after Israel’s bombing of Gaza bureau, offers ‘unwavering support’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke this evening with Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt following the bombing of his Gaza bureau’s office building by Israel, which claims that the tower also housed Hamas operatives.

Blinken “offered his unwavering support for independent journalists and media organizations around the world and noted the indispensability of their reporting in conflict zones,” according to a State Department readout.

Blinken expresses “relief that the Associated Press team on the ground in Gaza remains safe.”

The statement does not mention Israel’s role in the bombing or explicitly condemn that it took place.

Canada calls for protecting journalists after Israel bombs Al Jazeera, AP bureaus

Canada’s Foreign Minister Marc Garneau issues a statement calling for all parties to ensure journalists are protected after Israel bombed the Gaza building that housed the AP and Al Jazeera bureaus, claiming it was also being used by Hamas operatives.

“Canada continues to follow the situation in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza with grave concern,” says Garneau.

“We urge all parties to take immediate steps to end the violence, de-escalate tensions, protect all civilians, refugees, journalists and media workers.”

‘Canada reiterates the fundamental importance of protecting journalists and will always stand for media freedom. They are the cornerstone of any fair, strong, and vibrant society and must be free to do their work. Their safety and security must always be ensured.”

Muslim group to boycott White House Eid al-Fitr celebration due to Biden response to Gaza violence

The Council on American-Islamic Relations announces that it will be boycotting the White House’s annual Eid al-Fitr celebration in protest of the Biden administration’s response to the ongoing violence in Gaza.

The group says it is “incredibly disappointed and deeply disturbed” by the US position on the violence, which has included backing Israel’s right to defend itself.

“President Biden has the political power and moral authority to stop these injustices. We urge him to stand on the side of the victims and not the victimizer,” CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad says.

Israeli envoy to US thanks Biden for support on Gaza days after criticizing State Department

Israeli Ambassador to the US Gilad Erdan tweets his gratitude to US President Joe Biden over the latter’s support for Israel as it responds to rocket fire from Gaza.

“Thank you @POTUS for your strong message. May the rest of the international community follow your lead and support Israel’s right to defend itself,” he says.

Earlier this week, Erdan tore into the US State Department over a statement in response to violence in Jerusalem, which the envoy claimed equated Israel to Palestinian leadership that incites violence.

After 3 hour lull, rocket sirens sound in Gaza border towns

Fresh rocket sirens have gone off in Gaza border towns, including Nahal Oz after a three hour lull.

IDF names 30+ ‘central Hamas, PIJ operatives killed in fighting, says dozens more all taken out

The IDF releases the names and photos of over 30 “central” Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad members that it has killed in the fighting in Gaza.

The IDF says it has also killed dozens more lower-ranking operatives from the terror groups.

 

Rocket sirens blare in Gaza border towns

Fresh rocket sirens have been set off in Gaza border towns, including Berekhaya, Nitzanim, Nir Israel and Hodaya.

There have been no reports of injuries after sirens 15 minutes ago in Nahal Oz.

Israel Railways announces Herzliya-Lod-Beersheba line won’t run today

In accordance with recommendations from Israel Police, Israel Railways will not operate train services on the Herzliya-Lod-Beersheba line.

No reason is given for the decision, but it appears to have to do with the security situation.

 

China blames US for Security Council inaction on Gaza

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi calls on the UN Security Council to seek an early de-escalation of violence between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers. He also blames the US for the council’s lack of action so far.

“Regrettably, the council has so far failed to reach an agreement, with the United States standing on the opposite side of international justice,” the state-run Xinhua News Agency quotes Wang as saying in a phone conversation Saturday with Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

He expresses support for a two-state solution, and says China, which holds the Security Council presidency this month, expects all parties to speak with a unified voice when the council discusses the conflict later Sunday.

Wang says the Security Council should reconfirm a two-state solution and urge Palestinians and Israelis to resume talks on that basis as soon as possible.

IDF defends strike on Gaza media building, noting Hamas, PIJ assets in building

IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman pushes back against American lawmakers’ condemnation of the targeting of a building in Gaza that housed a number of international media outlets, where the military says Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization also maintained facilities.

“Yesterday I released a statement with the assets that were in the building. I’ll repeat them: a Hamas research and development unit, Hamas military intelligence and offices of the PIJ. It was very clear what was in there,” Zilberman says.

Asked if the strike wasn’t a mistake nevertheless given the denunciation by key Israeli allies, including US President Joe Biden and Democratic US Senator Bob Menendez, who have until now overwhelmingly supported Israel’s operation in the Gaza Strip in response to ongoing rocket fire from Gaza at cities and towns throughout the country, Zilberman balked.

“We’re in the midst of an operation. They are firing wherever they want, on a civilian population, on cities that have tens and hundreds of thousands of people. Think for a second about all the people you mentioned, imagine what they would say if one rocket — one! — were fired at Washington. I want to know what they would say,” Zilberman says.

“A building that has Hamas and Islamic Jihad assets in it needs to be brought down.”

The spokesperson adds that this operation was meant to deter terror groups from maintaining offices alongside media outlets in the future.

“If Hamas and the Islamic Jihad think that the media are their shield, then in the next operation in Gaza, we’ll find that media outlets’ offices are going to be popping up as covers for terrorist assets,” he says.

IDF lauds Iron Dome performance in overnight rocket barrage from Gaza

Some 55 rockets were fired at Tel Aviv and central Israel in Hamas’s Saturday midnight barrage, the Israel Defense Forces says.

Without releasing exact numbers, IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman says the Iron Dome missile defense system performed well against the fusillade.

“We intercepted a very, very good percentage of them,” he says.

No direct injuries were reported in the strikes, though a number of people were injured while running to bomb shelters, according to medics.

IDF releases footage of bombing of Hamas chief Sinwar’s home

The IDF releases footage of its bombing of the home of Hamas’s leader in the Gaza Strip, Yahya Sinwar, overnight.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed