Jerusalem tensions: Israel and Hamas trade rocket fire — live updates
Violence is continuing for a fourth day in Jerusalem. Hamas has launched a rocket attack toward the holy city, only for the Israeli military to hit back with airstrikes of its own. Follow DW for the latest.
- More than 200 rockets fired toward Israel since Monday
- Over 20 people killed in Gaza, including children, after Israel retaliated
- Two Israeli citizens in Ashkelon have died from rocket fire
- Germany urges all sides to “avoid further civilian casualties”
This live article was last updated at 13:41 UTC
Israel reports two dead in Ashkelon
Israeli emergency service Magen David Adom says two Israeli women have died after rockets targeted Ashkelon, which lies north of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the military will now increase its intensity and frequency of strikes on the Gaza Strip in retaliation. Hamas “will receive blows now that it didn’t expect,” Netanyahu said.
Sirens sound in Tel Aviv
Militants in the Gaza strip have reportedly extended their rocket attacks on Israel northwards towards Tel Aviv, according to the Israeli army.
Warning sirens have sounded in the coastal town of Ashdod, some 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of the city.
Ashdod is north of the city of Ashkelon, where rockets had already fallen – one onto a school where no lessons were being conducted.
The Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, claimed responsibility for the attacks.
Amnesty speaks out over ‘abusive force’ against protesters
Amnesty International said Israel is using “abusive and wanton force against largely peaceful Palestinian protesters” in east Jerusalem. The unrest, which began on Saturday, has seen hundreds of people wounded, including dozens of police officers.
Israel has come to the defense of its security forces, insisting they have responded to violent Palestinian rioters with appropriate measures.
But Amnesty described some of those measures as “disproportionate and unlawful,” accusing forces of “unprovoked attacks on peaceful demonstrators.”
The Israeli army said in a statement, reported by local media, that the chief of staff has called in troop reinforcements in the country’s south, as tensions continue to rise despite international calls for the opposite.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz has ordered the mobilization of 5,000 reserve troops to expand the current campaign “and deepen home front defense.”
UN: ‘Deeply concerned’
The United Nations said it is “deeply concerned” over the recent escalation of violence in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
“We condemn all violence and all incitement to violence and ethnic division and provocations,” spokesman Rupert Colville told reporters in Geneva.
Some details are emerging on the airstrikes from Monday night and Tuesday morning, carried out by both Hamas and the Israeli military.
The Israeli army accused the Palestinian militants of launching more than 200 rockets toward Jerusalem, and thus responded by firing rockets back.
DW’s Jerusalem correspondent Tania Krämer said: “The focus has shifted now to Gaza and the south of Israel where we have seen continued rocket strikes on Gaza militants.”
“The Israeli army said in a briefing this morning that about 200 rockets were fired from Gaza. According to the army, they attacked what they called military targets — 130 sites in the Gaza Strip. There were casualties in Gaza, there are injuries in Israel.”
She also said there was no end in sight for the current outbreak of violence. “From what we understand from the army, they say this is in the early stages and that they will respond forcefully to this very serious aggression, they call it. And what we’re hearing from the military groups in Gaza, they will also continue.”
Twenty-four people, including nine children, have died in Gaza from the overnight attacks, the enclave’s health ministry has announced.
Arab League joins condemnation
Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip were “indiscriminate and irresponsible,” Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Tuesday, as the death toll increased to at least 20.
He said that Israel was responsible for a “dangerous escalation” in Jerusalem, and urged the global community to act immediately to bring an end to the violence.
Saudi Arabia says Israeli attacks ‘violate international laws’
Saudi Arabia has condemned the Israeli attacks at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque in the “strongest terms” possible, stating the events of recent days “violate all international norms and laws.”
The kingdom’s foreign ministry called on “the international community to hold the Israeli occupation responsible for this escalation and to immediately stop its escalatory actions,” it added.
Saudi Arabia reiterated its support for a just and comprehensive solution to the troubles, as well as establishing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Israel guilty of ‘ethnic cleansing,’ activists say
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, who served as an official spokesperson of the Palestinian delegation to the Middle East peace process, told DW that Israel was deliberately provoking Palestinians and was “carrying out what we call demographic engineering or ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem.”
Israel has “been getting away, literally, with murder — and it has been carrying out a systematic campaign of provocation and violence and assault,” Ashrawi, who now acts as a legislator and activist, said.
“Israel has targeted the holy site. Israel has targeted the worshippers. It’s clear that this is a deliberate provocation, cynically used also for domestic reasons, but at the same time to show the Palestinians who is boss, to show their control.”
She said the issue would not be resolved by simple compensation.
“Israel has been carrying out what we call demographic engineering or ethnic cleansing in Jerusalem. It has been taking over Palestinian homes. It has been kicking Palestinians out of their own homes, it has been demolishing Palestinian homes.”
“So the issue is not evicting people and giving them compensation. The issue is that they want to get rid of Palestinians and to cleanse the city of Palestinians.”
Palestinian academic Dr. Yara Hawari also told DW that the evictions are tantamount to “colonization” as Israel seeks to “Judaize” Jerusalem, and that the latest unrest has been caused by the “ongoing ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.”
Israeli army: ’15 Hamas terrorists killed’
Palestinian militants have fired more than 200 rockets from the Gaza Strip, according to the Israeli military.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) tweeted in the early hours of Tuesday that groups in Gaza had been firing rockets “nonstop” for 10 hours. Later on Tuesday, the IDF tweeted: “In response to 200+ rockets fired from Gaza toward Israel, we killed 15 Hamas terrorists and struck 130 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror targets in Gaza overnight.”
US, EU and UK call for calm
The United States, the European Union and the United Kingdom have all urged Israel and the Palestinians to decrease tensions as soon as possible, yet the violence escalated on Monday night after Palestinian militants fired rockets toward Jerusalem, only for Israel to launch airstrikes of its own.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas also called for calm, as he urged all sides to “avoid further civilian casualties” after Israel launched deadly airstrikes on Gaza in response to the barrage of rockets fired by the Islamist movement Hamas.
“Nothing justifies rockets being fired on the civilian Israeli population,” Maas tweeted, adding it “certainly does not lead to the resolution of the conflict” but is in fact “a senseless new escalation of violence.”
Violence shows no signs of easing up
Welcome to DW’s rolling coverage of the events in Jerusalem as violence continues for a fourth day.
The intensity of the attacks has spiraled since clashes with Israeli police at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound wounded hundreds of Palestinians on Saturday.
Al-Aqsa is Islam’s third-holiest site. It is also a major holy site for Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount