Gaza Strip. Source of the photo: www.

On May 17, 2021, in the Gaza Strip was killed Hussam Abu HARBEED an Islamic Jihad Commander, the Israel Defense Forces declared.

The airstrikes also targeted underground tunnels used by Hamas, and Islamist groups renewed rocket attacks on Israeli cities.

This is the second week of violence with no sign of an end to the fiercest hostilities in the region in years, despite growing international concern and mounting calls for a ceasefire.

The death of Abu HARBEED, Islamic Jihad’s armed commander for north Gaza, was likely to draw a fierce response from the militant group that is fighting alongside Hamas, the Islamist movement that governs the coastal enclave.

At least three Palestinians were also killed by an Israeli airstrike on a car in Gaza City on Monday, medics said.

After rockets were fired from Gaza at the Israeli cities of Beersheba and Ashkelon, Israeli jets bombed what the military said was 15 km of underground tunnels used by Hamas.

Israel’s military said Gaza fighters had fired about 60 rockets towards Israeli cities overnight, down from 120 and 200 the two previous nights.

Hamas said its attacks were in retaliation for Israel’s “ongoing aggression against civilians” and called civilian casualties “premeditated killing”.

My children couldn’t sleep all night even after the wave of intensive bombing stopped,” said Umm NAEEM, 50, a mother of five, as she shopped for bread in Gaza City. “What is happening to us is too much, but Jerusalem deserves all the sacrifices.” Since the latest violence began a week ago at least 200 Palestinians, including 58 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip. More than 1.300 Palestinians were also wounded.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony BLINKEN, whose country is a strong ally of Israel, called for tensions to deescalate after speaking to Egypt’s foreign minister on Sunday.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio GUTERRES said at the weekend the UN was “actively engaging all sides toward an immediate ceasefire”.

The US said on Sunday it had made clear to Israel, the Palestinians, and others that it was ready to offer support “should the parties seek a ceasefire”.

Hamas said its attacks were in retaliation for Israel’s “ongoing aggression against civilians”.

The Israeli military said that civilian casualties were unintentional and that its jets attacked a tunnel system used by militants, which collapsed, bringing the homes down.

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