At least 30 people have been killed as fighting escalated further on Tuesday between Israel and Hamas, with the Israeli military launching airstrikes into Gaza as the militant group fired rockets into Israel.
More than two dozen Palestinians, including women and children, were reported to have been killed in the airstrikes, which also led to the toppling of a 13-story building in Gaza. Rockets fired indiscriminately from Gaza claimed at least three lives in Israel, where the projectiles traveled as far as Tel Aviv.
Viral video showed Israel’s Iron Dome defense system lighting up the night sky as it intercepted a barrage of rockets.
This latest violence began last week, after Israeli police violently clamped down on protesters who were demonstrating against the eviction of Palestinians from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of east Jerusalem to make way for Israeli settlers.
Amnesty International condemned what it described as the brutal repression of the protesters by the Israeli security forces.
Israeli security officials also stormed a mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, leaving hundreds wounded. Hamas militants then fired into Israel in response.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas “have paid, and will pay, a very heavy price for their aggression,” but the US is calling for calm and de-escalation.
On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who has previously condemned the evictions in east Jerusalem, said he was “gravely concerned” by the “spiraling escalation” of violence.
“Israeli security forces must exercise maximum restraint and calibrate their use of force,” a spokesperson for the secretary-general said, before adding: “The indiscriminate launching of rockets and mortars towards Israeli population centers is unacceptable.”