International

Violence escalates in Gaza Strip; over 800 rockets hit Israel

'Over 240 Palestinians injured in West Bank clashes'

Tel Aviv/Washington, May 12 (Sputnik): The clashes in the Gaza Strip have escalated with the Palestinian forces firing more than 1,000 rockets at Israel, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesman Jonathan Conricus said on Wednesday.

An earlier report quoted the Israeli army saying it had eliminated key intelligence figures of radical Palestinian movement Hamas, including the head of the Hamas military intelligence security department and his deputy.

“Our fighter jets… neutralised key figures of Hamas’ intelligence: Hassan Kaogi, head of the Hamas military intelligence security department & his deputy Wail Issa, head of the military intelligence counterespionage department,” IDF said on Twitter.

IDF’s operation against “Palestinian Islamists” continues for over 38 hours. Over this period, 860 rockets were fired at the Israeli territory and crossed the border, while around 200 other rockets did not reach the target and exploded in the Gaza Strip, Conricus told foreign reporters.

Palestinian groups have been conducting massive shelling of Israel since Tuesday evening.

At least 245 Palestinians were injured on Tuesday in clashes with the Israeli army in the West Bank, the Red Crescent said in a statement.

In Israel, at least two people were killed and another one was injured on Wednesday, the nation’s medical emergency service, Magen David Adom , said.

According to the Red Crescent, some people were injured by rubber bullets and affected by tear gas.

Clashes in the East Jerusalem area have been on for several days. According to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, more than 1,100 Palestinians were injured in clashes with the Israeli military on May 7-10, with 915 of them in East Jerusalem and over 200 in the West Bank. The Israeli police said that nine of its officers were also injured in the clashes.

As the violence continued across the Strip, in New pro-Palestinian and pro-Israeli groups, comprising about a thousand people, clashed near the Israeli consulate.

The demonstration remained peaceful during Tuesday afternoon. However, tensions rose as both sides faced off near the Israeli consulate.

The New York City Police Department separated the demonstrators with metal guard rails with officers standing in between and around the area.

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