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Death toll climbs to 4 in daylong tension in Gaza

(Xinhua)    07:26, May 05, 2019


Smokes and flames rise after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza, May 4, 2019. Israeli army warplanes, drones and artillery continued on Saturday afternoon striking on militants facilities in the Gaza Strip in response to firing barrages of rockets from the coastal enclave into Israel, Israeli and Palestinian media reported. (Xinhua/Khaled Omar)

GAZA/RAMALLAH, May 4 (Xinhua) -- The death toll on Saturday increased to four and more than 20 others were wounded during the ongoing Israeli army airstrikes on the Gaza Strip.

Gaza Health Ministry Spokesman Ashraf al-Qedra said that the attacks targeted military posts and facilities that belong to Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

He said that a 25-year-old Palestinian young man was killed by the shrapnel of an Israeli airstrike as he was driving a three-wheel motorcycle in northern Gaza Strip on Saturday night.

A pregnant mother and her 14-month-old female toddler were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a Hamas military post which is close to their house in eastern Gaza city.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the escalating Israeli aerial attacks on the Gaza Strip, according to the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA).

According to the report, President Abbas called on the international community "to ensure an international protection of the Palestinian people."

"The current silence toward the crimes of Israel and toward its violations of the international law is encouraging Israel to carry on committing more crimes against the children of the Palestinian people," said Abbas.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, called on Egypt and the United Nations to stop the assaults on the Gaza Strip and restore calm.

He called on the international community to intervene immediately and halt the Israeli attacks, adding "the authority of the occupation should be accountable for committing crimes against our people."

Gaza militant groups fired more rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Saturday night, while Israeli warplanes continued striking on military facilities and posts that belong to militant groups.

The Gaza Joint Chamber of Military Operations, which comprises various Palestinian factions, including Hamas movement, warned Israel on Saturday of escalating its aerial strikes on the Gaza Strip.

The chamber of military operations said in a press statement that "the response of the factions will be bigger, larger and tougher in case the occupation (Israel) expands its assaults and aggression."

"The armed wings of the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip will be the defensive shield for our people and our lands," said the statement, adding "the joint chamber of operations will keep an eye on the Zionist enemy's behavior on the ground."

It claimed responsibility for launching dozens of projectiles and rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel, adding "launching rockets was made in the frame of responding to the Zionist enemy's violations and shedding our people's blood."

Tension between Israel and the Palestinian factions' militant groups has been flaring since Friday.

More rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, while Israeli warplanes and Israeli army artillery continued launching strikes on militants' facilities and posts all over the coastal enclave.

Earlier on Saturday, an Israeli army spokesman announced that its warplanes destroyed an underground tunnel that belongs to the Islamic Jihad and goes from the town of Rafah in southern Gaza Strip into Israel.

More than 30 military posts and training facilities that belong to various factions' armed wing were hit by Israeli warplanes missiles all over the Gaza Strip, while militants fired more than 200 projectiles into Israel.

The Israeli cabinet decided on Saturday night to expand its strikes on militant groups in the Gaza Strip, while Gaza militants fired more rockets from the coastal enclave into Israel.

Leaders of Islamic Hamas movement and Islamic Jihad are currently in Cairo holding talks with senior Egyptian security intelligence officials on defusing the growing tension in the Gaza Strip with Israel.


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(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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