Wed. 8:38 a.m.: The latest — Israel says it has killed Hamas commanders
JERUSALEM (AP) — Here are summaries of the latest Associated Press stories on confrontations between Israelis and Palestinians as Israel signals a widening military campaign:
JERUSALEM — Israel’s president says the country’s Arab leaders are “giving support to terrorism and rioting” by staying quiet about an outbreak unrest in mixed communities.
Reuven Rivlin said today that the “silence of the Arab leadership” over violence in mixed Jewish-Arab communities amounts to “encouraging the rupture of the society” amid the most severe outbreak of violence since the 2014 Gaza war.
Rivlin says Israel “must pursue the rioters with a firm hand (to) restore security and order to all of us, also while fighting terrorism from Gaza without compromise.”
The unrest that began at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem has spread across Israel itself. It comes after Hamas called for a full-scale Palestinian intifada, or uprising.
In the Israeli city of Lod, a 52-year-old Arab Israeli and his 16-year-old daughter were killed early Wednesday when a rocket landed in the courtyard of their one-story home.
Lod also saw heavy clashes after thousands of mourners joined a funeral for an Arab man who was killed the previous night, the suspect a Jewish gunman. Israeli media reported that the crowd fought with police, and set a synagogue and some 30 vehicles on fire.
JERUSALEM — The Israeli military says it has killed several senior Hamas militant commanders in airstrikes in Gaza and Khan Younis.
The army released a statement today, saying that it carried out a “complex and first-of-its-kind operation.” Those targeted, it said, were “a key part of the Hamas ‘General Staff'” and considered close to the head of the group’s military wing.
Hamas had no comment.
JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Israel will use “an iron fist if needed” to stop widespread protests by Arab citizens that have resulted in injuries, arrests, and property damage.
Netanyahu said today that Israel will “stop the anarchy” after deploying Border Police forces to calm unrest in recent days in the cities of Lod and Acre.
The mounting unrest comes after weeks of violence in Jerusalem and heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in recent days. The fighting is rooted in a long dispute over contested Jerusalem. After Hamas rained rockets inside Israel on Monday, the conflict suddenly erupted and increasingly resembles the 2014 Gaza war.
Netayahu says Israel will “stop the anarchy and restore governance to the cities of Israel, with an iron fist if needed, with all forces needed and all authorities required.”
BERLIN — Germany is standing by Israel during the most intense fighting since the 2014 Gaza war.
Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht today condemned the rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza, saying Germany is standing “strongly on the side of Israel.” She called for the attacks on Israel to stop, adding that Israel has the right to protect itself.”
Lambrecht also denounced anti-Semitic acts near synagogues in Germany. She said a spate of Israeli flag-burning and other acts at a time of “agony” for Israel shows “nothing but horrible disrespect for human dignity.”
German news agency dpa reported that police stopped 13 suspects late Tuesday in the western city of Muenster near a synagogue after an Israeli flag was burned there.
Police said that in the western city of Bonn, several people damaged the entrance of a synagogue with stones. Investigators found a burned flag there as well. And in nearby Duesseldorf, somebody burned garbage on top of a memorial for a former synagogue. The justice minister vowed that “the perpetrators must be found and held responsible and Jewish institutions must be protected thoroughly.”
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that the international community should “give Israel a strong and deterrent lesson” over its conduct toward the Palestinians.
That’s according to the Turkish Presidential Communications Directorate, which said the two leaders talked by phone today about the escalating confrontation sparked by tension over contested Jerusalem.
The statement said Erdogan stressed the need for “the international community to give Israel a strong and deterrent lesson” and pressed for the U.N. Security Council to rapidly intervene with “determined and clear messages” to Israel. The statement said Erdogan suggested to Putin that an international protection force to shield the Palestinians should be considered.
Meanwhile, thousands of people in Istanbul defied a nationwide coronavirus curfew late on Tuesday to demonstrate against Israel’s attacks. A large convoy of cars drove toward the Israeli Consulate, waving Turkish and Palestinian flags. An image of the Palestinian and Turkish flags was projected onto the Israeli building.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan has condemned Israel’s actions and called for Muslim nations to stand by the Palestinians.
Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter, saying: “We stand with Gaza and Palestine.”
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi meanwhile urged Muslim nations to unite over Israel’s strikes on Palestinian civilian areas.
Protesters are expected to hold a small anti-Israel rally later today in the southern city of Karachi.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The Gaza Health Ministry says the death toll from Israeli airstrikes on Gaza has climbed to 43, including 13 children and three women.
It says nearly 300 Palestinians in the territory have been wounded in the strikes.
The strikes began on Monday after Palestinians launched a barrage of rockets into Israel. The worst fighting since the 2014 Gaza war was ignited by clashes in Jerusalem in recent weeks between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police focused on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, a site sacred to Jews and Muslims.
The head of Israel’s emergency service also says one person has been killed and one seriously wounded by an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip.
JERUSALEM — The head of Israel’s emergency service says one person has been killed and one seriously wounded by an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip.
Eli Bein of Magen David Adom said the attack this morning hit a jeep. Israeli media reported the assault. The attack came after a night of deadly exchanges of rocket fire between Israel and Palestinians. It was an abrupt escalation of weeks of tension with roots in disputed Jerusalem.