The conflict between Israel and Palestine continues to intensify. There is no end in sight to the number of Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip and Hamas on Israel. Israel called the frequency of missile attacks the highest, while Palestine called May 16, 2021, "the deadliest day."
The number of victims is increasing
The IDF struck the house of the leader of Hamas in Gaza Yahya Sinwar on May 16, 2021, but according to Haaretz, Sinvar was not in the house. The Israeli army reported that the house was used as a military base. The house was destroyed. Prior to this strike, the Israeli army attacked the homes of the deputy head of the Hamas Politburo, Khalil al-Hayi, and the commander of the Al-Farkain battalion, Khaled Manamara. The army attacked more than 90 Palestinian military facilities during 24 hours. The assassination of the head of the Hamas intelligence department and his deputy was reported. According to the Israeli army, Hamas is deliberately hiding military targets in residential buildings and residential areas.
On May 17, 2021, the Israeli army announced the resumption of shelling from the Gaza Strip.
Since the beginning of the escalation between Israel and the Palestinians, 3,1000 missiles were fired from the Gaza Strip, of which 1,200 were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, another 450 fell on the territory of the Gaza Strip. The Israel Defense Forces reported that this is the highest frequency of missile attacks from the Gaza Strip in the country's history.
"Hamas and Islamic Jihad have fired 3,100 missiles from Gaza over the past 7 days. This is the highest frequency of missile attacks that Israel has experienced in the entire history of the country. The threat is real. Millions of Israelis are living at risk. We will continue to defend ourselves," is stated in the army’s message on Twitter.
The Palestinian side has called May 16, 2021 the deadliest day since the escalation. According to BBC News, more than 40 people were killed in attacks by the Israeli army, and 80 airstrikes were made by combat aircraft in Gaza. Israel completely destroyed a multi-storey building in Gaza. It hosted local editorial offices of foreign media, including the Associated Press and Al-Jazeera TV channel.
Palestine reported that 202 Palestinians were killed and 5,600 others were injured as a result of "ongoing Israeli aggression", WAFA reports.
Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority Mohammed Shtayyeh said that Palestine appeals to the United Nations (UN). It is about the requirement to adopt a resolution that will condemn Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip, reports Al Arabiya.
He added that the international community must intervene to "stop Israeli aggression." The Palestinian government is working with Egypt to provide humanitarian aid.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the US is actively working to resolve the conflict.
Pope Francis condemned the escalation of violence between Israelis and Palestinians, according to Vatican News. He added that the violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip risks escalating "into a spiral of death and destruction." He called for "an end to the clamour of arms and to walk the path of peace, with the help of the international community."
China has invited Israel and Palestine to negotiate, Chinese Television quotes Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Wang Yi.
"Beijing looks forward to a constructive dialogue. It believes that the concept of "Two states for two peoples" is capable of providing a way out of the existing conflict," he said.
At the same time, emergency consultations were held by special representatives of the Middle East Quartetthe—European Union, Russia, the United States, and the UN. They discussed practical steps to quickly de-escalate the situation, impose a state of ceasefire and ensure the protection of civilians.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy also called for putting an end to the escalation of violence in Israel.
"The skies of Israel are all in rockets. Some cities are burning. There are victims. A lot of injured. There are a lot of human tragedies. It is impossible to look at all this without sadness and regret. The escalation must be stopped immediately for the sake of people's lives," he wrote on Twitter.