Israel-Palestinian clashes trigger fears of ‘full-scale war’

Israeli soldiers fire a 155mm self-propelled howitzer towards targets in the Gaza Strip from their position near the southern Israeli city of Sderot on May 12, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Relentless rocket fire and rioting in mixed Jewish-Arab towns fuelled growing fears on Wednesday that deadly violence between Israel and Palestinians could spiral into “full-scale war”.

Israel’s Defence Minister Benny Gantz vowed more attacks on Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in Gaza to bring “total, long-term quiet” before considering a ceasefire.

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Gaza militants have launched over 1,000 rockets since Monday, said Israel’s Army, which has carried out hundreds of air strikes on Islamist groups in the crowded coastal enclave of Gaza.

The most intense hostilities in seven years have killed at least 53 people in Gaza, including 14 children, and six in Israel, including an Israeli soldier and one Indian national, since Monday. Three Palestinians were killed in West Bank clashes. At least 230 Palestinians and 100 Israelis were wounded.

As world powers voiced growing alarm and the UN Security Council readied for another emergency meeting on the bloody crisis, the UN Middle East envoy Tor Wennesland warned that “we’re escalating towards a full-scale war”.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a state of emergency in the Jewish-Arab city of Lod, where “wide-scale riots erupted among some of the Arab residents”.

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Printable version | Jun 22, 2021 7:55:09 AM |

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