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West Bank erupts in protest amid more Israel-Hamas fighting – Washington, District of Columbia

Washington, District of Columbia 2021-05-14 20:39:13 –

Palestinians grabbed their children and belongings and fled neighborhoods on the outskirts of Gaza City on Friday as Israel unleashed a heavy barrage of artillery fire and airstrikes.

Israel_Palestinians_43664 Israeli army vehicles fire teargas canisters toward Palestinian protesters during clashes at the northern entrance of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, May 14, 2021. Palestinian health officials said that several Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire during protests that took place in several locations across the West Bank on Friday.

AP Photo/Nasser Nasser

Israel_Palestinians_14626 Palestinian paramedics evacuate an injured protester during clashes with Israeli army soldiers at the northern entrance of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, May 14, 2021. Palestinian health officials said that several Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire during protests that took place in several locations across the West Bank on Friday.

AP Photo/Nasser Nasser

Israel_Palestinians_39700 A Palestinian protester blocks the road with burning tires during clashes with Israeli army soldiers, at the northern entrance of the West Bank city of Ramallah, Friday, May 14, 2021. Palestinian health officials said that several Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire during protests that took place in several locations across the West Bank on Friday.

AP Photo/Nasser Nasser

Israel_Palestinians_37160 Palestinian demonstrators take cover during clashes with Israeli forces at the Hawara checkpoint, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, May 14, 2021. Health officials say several Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire, at protests that took place in several locations across the West Bank of Friday.

AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean

Israel_Palestinians_33877 Israeli border police swing their batons at Muslim worshippers to prevent them from gathering for Friday prayers at the Dome of the Rock Mosque in the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean

Israel_Palestinians_19563 Palestinians flee their homes after overnight Israeli heavy missile strikes on their neighborhoods in the outskirts of Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Palestinians take shelter provided by the U.N. at a school after fleeing their homes from the overnight Israeli heavy missile strikes on their neighborhoods in the outskirts of Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Israel_Palestinians_18880 Palestinians flee their homes to a U.N. school after overnight Israeli heavy missile strikes on their neighborhoods in the outskirts of Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Palestinians flee their homes after overnight Israeli heavy missile strikes on their neighborhoods in the outskirts of Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – A Palestinian relative mourns over the bodies of four brothers from the Al-tanani family who were found under the rubble of a destroyed house following Israeli airstrikes in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Israel_Palestinians_67672 Palestinians take shelter provided by the U.N. at a school after fleeing their homes from the overnight Israeli heavy missile strikes on their neighborhoods outskirts of Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

A Palestinian relative mourns over the bodies of four young brothers from the Al-tanani family who were found under the rubble of a destroyed house following Israeli airstrikes in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Palestinian relatives mourn over the bodies of four brothers from the Al-tanani family that werer found under the rubble of a destroyed house following Israeli airstrikes in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

APTOPIX_Israel_Palestinians_01556 Palestinians inspect their destroyed houses following overnight Israeli airstrikes in town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Palestinian relatives mourn over four brothers from the Al-tanani family who were found under the rubble of a destroyed house following Israeli airstrikes in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Israel_Palestinians_16251 A man walks his dog next to damaged house fence after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, Israel, Friday, May 14, 2021 .

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

A Jewish student places his tefillin on his head during morning prayer in the synagogue of the Maoz Military Preparation Program after it was damaged by fire during overnight clashes in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod, Israel, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Heidi Levine

Israel_Palestinians_14907 Palestinians inspect their destroyed houses following overnight Israeli airstrikes in town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Israel_Palestinians_87053 Palestinians inspect their destroyed houses following overnight Israeli airstrikes in town of Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

APTOPIX_Israel_Palestinians_70974 A protester waves the Palestinian flag during clashes with the Israeli forces at the Hawara checkpoint, south of the West Bank city of Nablus, Friday, May 14, 2021. Health officials say several Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire, at protests that took place in several locations across the West Bank of Friday.

AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed

Israel_Palestinians_52415 Israeli soldiers with armored vehicles gather in a staging ground near the border with Gaza Strip, southern Israel, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov

Israel_Palestinians_89041 Palestinian mourners carry the body of Nidal Safadi, who was killed in clashes with Israeli forces, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Urif, near Nablus, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed

Israel_Palestinians_97619 An Israeli tank crosses a road as it advances towards a staging ground near the Israeli Gaza border, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov

An Israeli attack helicopter flies by an Iron Dome air defense system as it launches to intercept rocket fired from Gaza Strip, at the Israeli Gaza border, southern Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021.

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

A damaged wall is seen in an apartment after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip over night, in Petah Tikva, central Israel, Thursday, May 13, 2021.

AP Photo/Oded Balilty

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a fire at an oil tank farm in Ashkelon, Israel, on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Israel on Thursday, May 13, 2021, said it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and calling up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory, as the two bitter enemies plunged closer to all-out war. Egyptian mediators rushed to Israel for cease-fire efforts but showed no signs of progress.

Maxar Technologies via AP

Rockets are launched from Gaza Strip to Israel, Friday, May 14, 2021. The U.S. State Department is advising Americans to reconsider any travel they may have planned to Israel and the Palestinian territories due to increasing Israeli-Palestinian violence.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Rockets are launched from Gaza Strip to Israel, early Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Fire and smoke rises following Israeli missile strikes on Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021. Early Friday, the Israeli military said air and ground troops struck Gaza in what appeared to be the heaviest attacks yet. Masses of red flames illuminated the skies as the deafening blasts from the outskirts of Gaza City jolted people awake.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Israel_Palestinians_82527 This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows a fire at an oil tank farm in Ashkelon, Israel, on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Israel on Thursday, May 13, 2021, said it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and calling up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory, as the two bitter enemies plunged closer to all-out war. Egyptian mediators rushed to Israel for cease-fire efforts but showed no signs of progress.

Maxar Technologies via AP

This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows the rubble of a security compound after an Israeli strike targeted it in Gaza City in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Israel on Thursday, May 13, 2021, said it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and calling up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory, as the two bitter enemies plunged closer to all-out war. Egyptian mediators rushed to Israel for cease-fire efforts but showed no signs of progress.

Maxar Technologies via AP

APTOPIX_Israel_Palestinians_09253 A man is seen trough a hole in a wall of a residential building after it was struck by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in Ashkelon, Israel, Friday, May 14, 2021. Israeli artillery pounded northern Gaza early Friday in an attempt to destroy a vast network of militant tunnels inside the territory, the military said, bringing the front lines closer to dense civilian areas and paving the way for a potential ground invasion.

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

An Israeli artillery unit fires toward targets in Gaza Strip, at the Israeli Gaza border, Thursday, May 13, 2021.

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit

Israel_Palestinians_12100 Burned Talmud books are piled at the synagogue of the Maoz Military Preparation Program after it was damaged by fire during overnight clashes in the mixed Jewish-Arab city of Lod, Israel, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Heidi Levine

APTOPIX_Israel_Palestinians_56329 A Palestinian relative mourns over the bodies of four young brothers from the Tanani family who were found under the rubble of a destroyed house following Israeli airstrikes in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

APTOPIX_Israel_Palestinians_25986 Palestinians take shelter provided by the U.N. at a school after fleeing their homes from the overnight Israeli heavy missile strikes on their neighborhoods in the outskirts of Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

APTOPIX_Israel_Palestinians_49560 Palestinians flee their homes after overnight Israeli heavy missile strikes on their neighborhoods in the outskirts of Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

APTOPIX_Israel_Palestinians_17641 EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT – A Palestinian relative mourns over the bodies of four brothers from the Tanani family who were found under the rubble of a destroyed house following Israeli airstrikes in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

Israel_Palestinians_98086 Palestinian relatives mourn over four brothers from the Tanani family who were found under the rubble of a destroyed house following Israeli airstrikes in Beit Lahiya, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Khalil Hamra

APTOPIX_Israel_Palestinians_46466 Israeli soldiers load ammunition onto an Armored Personal Carrier (APC) at a staging ground near the Israeli Gaza border, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov

Israel_Palestinians_17449 Smoke rises following Israeli airstrikes on a building in Gaza City, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Hatem Moussa

Israel_Palestinians_89041 Palestinian mourners carry the body of Nidal Safadi, who was killed in clashes with Israeli forces, during his funeral in the West Bank village of Urif, near Nablus, Friday, May 14, 2021.

AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Turmoil from the battle between Israel and Hamas spilled over into the West Bank on Friday, sparking the most widespread Palestinian protests in years as hundreds of young demonstrators in multiple towns clashed with Israeli troops, who shot and killed at least 11 people.

Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip continued into early Saturday, when an airstrike on a house in Gaza City killed at least seven Palestinians — the highest number of fatalities in a single hit. That strike came a day after a furious overnight barrage of tank fire and airstrikes that wreaked destruction in some towns, killed a family of six in their house and sent thousands fleeing their homes.

The Israeli military said the operation involved 160 warplanes dropping some 80 tons of explosives over the course of 40 minutes and succeeded in destroying a network of tunnels used by Hamas to elude airstrikes and surveillance.

Israel appeared determined to inflict as much damage as possible on Gaza’s Hamas rulers before international efforts for a cease-fire accelerated. Since Monday night, Hamas has fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, which has pounded the Gaza Strip with strikes. In Gaza, at least 126 people have been killed, including 31 children and 20 women; in Israel, seven people have been killed, including a 6-year-old boy and a soldier.

Houda Ouda said she and her extended family ran frantically into their home in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, seeking safety as the earth shook in the darkness.

“We even did not dare to look from the window to know what is being hit,” she said. When daylight came, she saw the destruction: streets cratered, buildings crushed or with facades blown off, an olive tree burned bare, dust covering everything.

The latest airstrike targeted a three-story house on the edge of a refugee camp. Said Alghoul, who lives nearby, said Israeli warplanes dropped at least three bombs on the home without warning residents in advance.

“I could not endure and ran back to my home,” he said. Rescuers called a bulldozer to dig through the rubble for survivors or bodies.

Shortly afterward, Hamas said it fired a salvo of rockets at southern Israel in response to the airstrike.

The conflict, which was sparked by tensions in Jerusalem during the past month, has reverberated widely. Israeli cities with mixed Arab and Jewish populations have seen daily violence, with mobs from each community clashing and trashing each other’s property. New clashes broke out Friday in the coastal city of Acre.

In the occupied West Bank, on the outskirts of Ramallah, Nablus and other towns and cities, hundreds of Palestinians protested against the Gaza campaign and Israeli actions in Jerusalem. Waving Palestinian flags, they trucked in tires that they set up in burning barricades and hurled stones at Israeli soldiers. At least 10 protesters were shot and killed by soldiers. An 11th Palestinian was killed when he tried to stab a soldier at a military position.

In east Jerusalem, online video showed young Jewish nationalists firing pistols as they traded volleys of stone with Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah, which became a flashpoint for tensions over attempts by settlers to forcibly evict a number of Palestinian families from their homes.

On Israel’s northern border, troops opened fire when a group of Lebanese and Palestinian protesters on the other side cut through the border fence and briefly crossed. One Lebanese was killed. Three rockets were fired toward Israel from neighboring Syria, but they either landed in Syrian territory or in empty areas, Israeli media said. It was not immediately known who fired them.

The spiraling violence has raised fears of a new Palestinian “intifada,” or uprising, at a time when the peace process has been virtually nonexistent for years. The tensions began in east Jerusalem earlier this month, with Palestinian protests against the Sheikh Jarrah evictions and Israeli police measures at Al-Aqsa Mosque, a frequent flashpoint located on a mount in the Old City revered by Muslims and Jews.

Hamas fired rockets toward Jerusalem late Monday, in an apparent attempt to present itself as the champion of the protesters. In the conflict that spiraled from there, Israel says it wants to inflict as much damage as it can on Hamas’ military infrastructure in Gaza.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that Hamas would “pay a very heavy price” for its rocket attacks. Israel called up 9,000 reservists Thursday to join its troops massed at the Gaza border.

An Egyptian intelligence official said Israel had turned down an Egyptian proposal for a one-year cease-fire that Hamas had accepted. The official, who was close to Egypt’s talks with both sides, spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the internal negotiations.

On Friday, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for Israel-Palestinian affairs, Hady Amr, arrived in Israel as part of an attempt by Washington to de-escalate the conflict.

U.S. President Joe Biden gave a show of support to Netanyahu in a call a day earlier, saying “there has not been a significant overreaction” in Israel’s response to Hamas rockets. He said the aim is to get a “significant reduction in attacks, particularly rocket attacks.”

Hamas has fired some 2,000 rockets toward Israel since Monday, according to the Israeli military. Most have been intercepted by anti-missile defenses, but they have brought life to a standstill in southern Israeli cities, caused disruptions at airports and have set off air raid sirens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Rafat Tanani, his pregnant wife and four children, ages 7 and under, were killed after an Israeli warplane reduced their four-story apartment building to rubble in the neighboring town of Beit Lahia, residents said. Four strikes hit the building, Rafat’s brother Fadi said. The building’s owner and his wife also were killed.

“It was a massacre,” said Sadallah Tanani, another relative. “My feelings are indescribable.”

When the sun rose Friday, residents streamed out of the area in pickup trucks, on donkeys and on foot, taking pillows, blankets, pots and pans and bread. Thousands took shelter inside 16 schools run by the United Nations relief agency UNWRA, agency spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said.

Mohammed Ghabayen, who took refuge in a school with his family, said his children had eaten nothing since the day before, and they had no mattresses to sleep on. “And this is in the shadow of the coronavirus crisis,” he said. “We don’t know whether to take precautions for the coronavirus or the rockets or what to do exactly.”

Israeli military officials cheered the operation as a successful blow against the tunnel network. Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said 160 warplanes operated in a “synchronized manner” for about 40 minutes as part of the operation.

He said the military aims to minimize collateral damage in striking military targets. But measures the military takes in other strikes, such as warning shots to get civilians to leave, were not “feasible this time.”

Military correspondents in Israeli media said the military believed dozens of militants were killed inside the tunnels. The Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant groups have confirmed 20 deaths in their ranks, but the Israeli military said the real number is far higher.

“We turned the tunnels which they thought were death traps for our soldiers into traps for them.” Reserve Air Force Col. Koby Regev said on Israeli television.

___

Keath reported from Cairo. Associated Press writers Isabel DeBre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Samy Magdy in Cairo also contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

West Bank erupts in protest amid more Israel-Hamas fighting Source link West Bank erupts in protest amid more Israel-Hamas fighting

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