Tension on Gaza Strip Escalates, with Over 30 Dead and 334 Injured

Tensions hit a breaking point on the Gaza Strip this week, provoking international calls for de-escalation from the United Nations.

Israeli officials identified the escalation as a response to Palestinians allegedly throwing stones toward the Western Wall of the Gaza Strip while thousands of Jews had gathered to pray.

However, a spokesperson for the mosque believes that the retaliation began when police tried to evacuate the compound to allow Israelis in, disturbing Palestinian worshippers who were sleeping there during Ramadan.

Gaza Strip
Image: Council on Foreign Relations

These events transpired as Israelis celebrated the anniversary of their country’s capture of the Old City and its eastern neighbours in the 1967 ‘Six-Day War’.

Early on Monday, the Joint Chamber of Palestinian Resistance Factions in the Gaza Strip had given Israel until evening to withdraw its soldiers from the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

Evidently, this further raised tensions in the conflict.

At least 30 Palestinians, including 10 children, have been killed as a result.

Allegedly, 130 rockets were also fired from the Gaza Strip towards Tel Aviv.

Gaza Strip
Image: Mahmud Hams

One 13 story residential building in Gaza, containing 80 apartments, was flattened by the Israeli attacks on Tuesday evening.

A further 2 people were killed by rocket attacks that day.

Thus far, the Israeli Defence Forces have confirmed that 480 rockets were launched into Israel from the Gaza Strip. Jerusalem was also a confirmed target, as residents hurried into bomb shelters.

24 Palestinians, including 9 children, were martyred on the Gaza Strip on Monday evening, with more than 334 injured overall.

At this point, 60 rockets were launched, including 7 on Jerusalem, while the rest of the rockets targeted Ashkelon, Sderot and settlements near the Gaza Strip.

These clashes have prompted international calls for de-escalation, with governments demanding the “immediate and urgent international intervention to stop the Israeli massacres against Palestinian civilians,” according to Ibrahim Melhem, spokesperson for the Palestinian government.

He further explained that: “the international community and human rights institutions are required to condemn the Israeli aggression and racism in the Palestinian Territories.”

However, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanhanyu has warned that the conflict may continue for some time.