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The latest round of Israeli-Palestinian unrest began Monday after clashes between protesters and the Israeli police at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. Hamas then began firing into Israel with the increasingly potent rockets it has built with the aid of Iran, and Israel responded with air attacks on Hamas and other militant targets in Gaza.
The violence came as Muslims celebrated the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the feast of Eid al-Fitr that follows.
Many nations have called for peaceful resolution, and American and Egyptian officials have been trying to broker a cease-fire. The United States and other Western countries insisted that the rocket attacks from Gaza must stop and refrained from placing blame on Israel.
“Palestinians — including in Gaza — and Israelis equally deserve to live in dignity, safety and security,” President Biden said in statement marking Eid. “No family should have to fear for their safety within their own home or place of worship.”
Relations between Israel and the Arab world have thawed in recent years, and Arab countries’ criticism of Israel this week has been more muted than in past conflicts.
But the two entrenched sides did not appear ready to cede ground.
“The Americans are talking to me, the Egyptians are talking to me,” Israel’s defense minister, Benny Gantz, said during a video meeting with local council heads, “but I remain focused on the reason we went out on this campaign: to make Hamas and Islamic Jihad pay a price.”
Buildings hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip are seen in Petah Tikva, Israel, on Thursday.Credit…Dan Balilty for The New York Times
Israel on Thursday activated 7,000 military reservists and canceled leaves for soldiers in combat units, prompting speculation about an invasion of Gaza like the incursion in 2014 that left more than 2,000 people dead. The Israeli military said early Friday morning that its ground forces had attacked Gaza, suggesting an incursion, but it later clarified that the troops were firing from within Israel, and that none had entered the territory.
The crisis has come at a time when Israel’s political leaders are struggling to form a government after four inconclusive elections in two years. Mr. Netanyahu’s attempt to build a majority coalition in the Israeli Parliament failed, and his rival, Yair Lapid, had been invited to try to form a government.
Palestinians, some of them youths, using a garbage container as as a barricade during confrontations with Israeli security forces on Friday near the West Bank city of Nablus.Credit…Jaafar Ashtiyeh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
RAMALLAH, WEST BANK — Violence erupted between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian demonstrators in cities and towns across the West Bank on Friday, with 11 Palestinians killed and more than 200 injured, about 20 of them seriously, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
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