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Conflict in Gaza intensifies, Rocket attacks by Hamas continue as Israel stops short of a ground offensive

Fri, 14 May 2021   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

The videos of Israeli precision bombing bringing down the Al Shorouk tower in Gaza, which housed the Hamas defence headquarters as per Israel and Iron Dome interception of rockets fired by Hamas over Tel Aviv lighting up the night sky went viral in past few days. The casualties continue to mount with Palestinian figure reaching three figures and Israeli casualties entering double digits. A clear divide has emerged among the world with US President saying categorically that it is Israel’s sovereign right to defend themselves against rocket attacks. US had also stalled the resolution on Israel Palestine conflict in UN Security Council.

As the violence intensified, Israel said it was carrying out an attack “in the Gaza Strip” although it later clarified there were no boots on the ground. The Israeli Defence Forces have been put on alert, mobilised to border areas and reports say that the leave of soldiers have been cancelled and they have been recalled  while the reservists also being embodied. Israel bombarded Gaza with artillery and air strikes on Friday in response to a new barrage of rocket fire from the Hamas-run enclave, but stopped short of a ground offensive. There were intense artillery exchanges on Thursday night, and reporters saw Israeli troops assembling at the security barrier. Israel’s air force launched multiple air strikes, targeting locations linked to Hamas, with the air force saying jets had struck a “military compound” of the group’s “intelligence headquarters”. The Israeli artillery and air force targeted a network of Palestinian militant tunnels under Gaza that it dubbed “the Metro”, amid persistent rocket attacks on Israeli towns.

The hostilities have fuelled tension between Israeli Jews and the country’s 21% Arab minority who live alongside them in some communities. Many towns in Israel have been rocked by an unprecedented wave of mob violence, in which both Arabs and Jews were savagely beaten and police stations attacked.

U.S. President Joe Biden called on Thursday for a de-escalation of the violence, saying he wanted to see a significant reduction in rocket attacks. The U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in Washington was “deeply concerned about the violence in the streets of Israel”. The U.N. Security Council will publicly discuss the worsening violence between Israel and Palestinian militants on Sunday, diplomats said after the United States had objected to a meeting on Friday. The truce efforts by many countries including Egypt and Qatar are still to bear any conducive results.

For a long time, successive Indian governments tried to do a tight-rope walk between Israel and Palestine, but recently the scales have tipped in favour of Israel. With the publicly displayed bonhomie between the Prime Ministers of both countries and bilateral exchanges at various levels, Israel is now India’s second-largest supplier of arms, next to Russia. When the UN Security Council met to discuss the crisis, India condemned all acts of violence “especially rocket attacks from Gaza” and called for an immediate de-escalation. India is expected to take a softer stand towards Israel in next meeting on Sunday while Israel prepares for an all out offensive if the rocket attacks continue.


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