Gaza conflict intensifies; Israeli tanks, Artillery join jets attack Hamas

More than 100 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed and hundreds of buildings across Gaza are damaged and turned into ruins.

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Israeli air force and military troops continued to bombard the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, ignoring the international appeals for de-escalation. Israel has stepped up the deployment of troops and tanks near the besieged Palestinian enclave.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was warning that extended campaigning is likely to happen soon. The decision of heavy aircraft attack along with artillery fire came at a painful and highly sensitive time as Israel is grappled with the worst outbreak in years of violence between Arabs and Jews.

The trouble loomed after four days of cross-border fighting. On Wednesday, May 12, three rockets launched from Lebanon crashed into the Mediterranean of Israel’s northern coast. This raised the specter of a second battleground with Iran-backed Lebanese Hezbollah militants.

Earlier Israeli officials had said that Gaza’s ruling Hamas group must be dealt a strong deterring blow before any ceasefire.

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PM Netanyahu wrote on Facebook, “I said that we will exact a very heavy price from Hamas. We are doing so and will continue to do so with great force. The last word hasn’t been said and this campaign will continue as long as necessary.”

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden defended the Israeli government’s response to Palestinian rocket barrages. He said, “The question is how we get to a point where- they get to a point where there is a significant reduction in the attacks, particularly the rocket attacks that are indiscriminately fired into population centers.”

In the battle between the Israeli government and Hamas, the deaths and devastation are heart-wrenching. More than 100 Palestinians and seven Israelis have been killed and hundreds of buildings across Gaza are damaged and turned into ruins. Meanwhile, an envoy from Egypt which was involved in ending Israel-Gaza violence traditionally has arrived to talk to both sides as part of a broader international effort to put an end to the conflict.

The United Nations Security Council has also scheduled an emergency meeting regarding the Gaza conflict on Sunday, May 16.

The battle erupted on Monday as the rivals of PM Netanyahu were trying to form a government to unseat him. This conflict can draw in other regional players, worsening it to an all-out war. The Israeli military was authorized to call up 9,000 more reservists and readied scenarios including a possible ground discussion. On this, Netanyahu has said, “It will take more time to restore the calm.


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