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Israeli-Palestinian conflict enters 10th day as pressure builds for ceasefire
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 19 - 05 - 2021

Israeli strikes on Gaza continued for the 10th consecutive day on Wednesday, as pressure builds for a ceasefire to halt the conflict.
Four Palestinians, including a local journalist, were killed and 10 others wounded in a series of raids launched by Israeli warplanes on different areas of Gaza on Wednesday, according to the official Palestinian news agency WAFA.
The journalist, Yusef Abu Hussein, was a broadcaster with Gaza radio station Al-Aqsa Radio. He was killed in an Israeli strike targeting a house near the Sheikh Radwan cemetery, north of Gaza City, the WAFA report said.
Overnight, Israeli warplanes launched a series of airstrikes on several Hamas targets in the Khan Yunis and Rafah areas of southern Gaza, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) said. The 25-minute-long attack by 52 fighter jets destroyed "about 40 underground targets," the IAF said in a tweet.
The Hamas-run Gaza Ministry of Health said 219 people, including 63 children, had been killed and 1,500 others injured in the current round of violence. More than 58,000 people are considered internally displaced, many of them finding shelter in dozens of schools, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
A spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a briefing on Tuesday that attacks on Hamas' extensive network of tunnels would be expanded to other parts of Gaza.
At least 12 people in Israel have been killed in fire since the start of the recent violence.
A 25-year-old Palestinian was killed and two Israeli soldiers were wounded in an altercation Tuesday in Ramallah, according to health authorities in the West Bank and the IDF.
Meanwhile, Attempts to negotiate a truce between Israel and militants in Gaza have so far proven difficult.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with Jordanian King Abdullah II on Tuesday; both leaders supported efforts to reach a ceasefire, according to Merkel's spokesperson.
French President Emmanuel Macron also spoke with the Jordanian leader, alongside Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, on Tuesday. They agreed to push the peace process forward and reaffirmed the need "to protect Palestinians, stop all illegal Israeli violations and measures in Jerusalem, and end the aggression on Gaza," a statement said.
US President Joe Biden voiced support for a ceasefire Monday during a telephone call with Netanyahu and "discussed US engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end," a White House description of the call read.
Egypt and Qatar's efforts to broker a truce have stalled over two main points, a senior Hamas leader with direct knowledge of mediation efforts said on Sunday. — CNN

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