Foreign Affairs. Geopolitics. National Security.

No quick resolution in sight as Israel and Hamas clashes escalate over Gaza

Tue, 11 May 2021   |  Reading Time: 2 minutes

Israeli-Palestinian tension has been higher than usual during this Muslim holy month of Ramadan, especially in Jerusalem. The protests turned violent on many occasions with scores of arrests and injuries. After Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in 2007, Israel declared the Gaza Strip under Hamas a hostile entity and approved a series of sanctions that included power cuts, heavily restricted imports, and border closures. The present violence is the first major confrontation after November 2019 which started with Hamas firing rockets into Israel territory. Hamas on Monday fired rockets towards Jerusalem for the first time since 2014.

This most serious outbreak of fighting between armed factions in Hamas Islamist-run Gaza and Israel since 2019 began with standoff between Palestinians and Israeli police at Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Monday. On Monday, more than 300 Palestinians were injured at Al Aqsa Mosque in clashes with Israeli police, who fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas in the compound, according to the Palestine Red Crescent Society.

Palestinian militants fired rocket barrages into Israel from Gaza for a second day on Tuesday and Israeli warplanes struck the enclave in a deepening conflict in which at least 26 people in Gaza and two in Israel have been killed. Palestinian health officials in the Gaza Strip said 26 people, including nine children, have been killed in fighting with Israel. Israel’s army said it launched airstrikes on Monday, killing a senior Hamas commander, in response to rockets fired by Hamas amid spiraling violence sparked by unrest at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque compound. A number of rockets fired from Gaza toward Israeli towns on Sunday evening and Monday morning were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system and no injuries were reported.

The attacks escalated with fresh rounds of Rocket fires by Hamas on Tuesday. Palestinian militants fired rocket barrages into Israel from Gaza for a second day  and Israeli warplanes struck the enclave in a deepening conflict. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would step up its strikes on Gaza in the face of the surge in rocket attacks. Ina video statement, the PM said, “At the conclusion of a situational assessment, it was decided that both the strength of the attacks and the frequency of the attacks will be increased.” Israeli tanks massed on the Gaza border as officials said infantry and armour reinforcements were being dispatched. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel should stop immediately. He urged all sides to take steps to reduce tensions.

The new tensions in West Asia looks to linger on, though reports say that Hamas militants in Gaza have retreated to their bunkers. India has to do a fine balancing act in dealing with Israel and Palestine while #IndiastandswithIsrael trended in India on Monday.

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