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Rockets kill 2 Israelis; 26 die in Gaza as Israel hits Hamas

APTOPIX Israel Palestinians
Posted at 10:12 AM, May 11, 2021

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israel has unleashed new airstrikes on Gaza, hitting a pair of high-rise buildings believed to be harboring Hamas militants. Meanwhile, Hamas and other armed groups have fired hundreds of rockets toward Israel.

The conflict escalated relentlessly throughout Tuesday, and Israel vowed that its strikes would only increase.

The latest exchange of fire was sparked by weeks of tensions in contested Jerusalem.

Gaza health officials said that 26 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, most by airstrikes, since cross-border fighting erupted. They said nine children and a woman were among the dead. The Israeli military said at least 16 of the dead were militants.

Meanwhile, rockets fired by Gaza militants killed two Israeli civilians and wounded 10 others.

What's behind the clashes in Jerusalem?

Palestinian protesters and Israeli police have clashed on a daily basis for weeks in and around Jerusalem’s Old City, and the emotional epicenter of the Middle East conflict.

Jerusalem has been the scene of violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs for 100 years and remains one of the most bitterly contested cities on earth.

The latest clashes began a month ago with an Israeli move to block some Palestinian gatherings at the beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

After those restrictions eased, tensions over a plan to evict dozens of Palestinians from an east Jerusalem neighborhood continued to fuel confrontations.

On Monday, stun grenades echoed across a holy hilltop compound.