Go to contents

Israeli-Palestinian conflicts continue to worsen

Posted May. 13, 2021 07:24,   

Updated May. 13, 2021 07:24


As Israeli-Palestinian conflicts have been getting worse since Friday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared on Wednesday a state of emergency in central Lod where a lot of Arabic residents are located. Following the Israeli forces’ bombing in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and Wednesday, Palestinian militant Hamas in control of the Gaza Strip launched rocket assault. A total of 40 people have died so far – 35 Palestinians and five Israelis – with over 200 injured. There are concerns that something similar to the 2014 Gaza War with 2,213 casualties may be repeated.

An Arabic man was shot and killed by a Jewish man on Monday during the anti-Israel demonstration in Lod. “Arabic residents were trying to throw bombs and rocks at me. I shot a gun to defend myself,” said the Jewish man while Arabic residents were angered that a civilian without a weapon was targeted. Arabic residents had a huge clash with the police at the victim’s funeral on Tuesday. Mayor of Lod Yair Revivo said the city is practically in a civil war. Arabic residents are staging anti-government demonstrations day after day in cities, including Ramallah, Acre, and Wadi Ara. About 20 percent of Israel’s population of 9.3 million are Arabic residents.

Prime Minister Netanyahu declared a state of emergency and criticized Arabic residents for causing a large-scale riot. “They should pay the price. We will increase the intensity of attacks,” he said blaming Hamas for causing the current situation. Israeli forces bombed a nine-story residential building in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday under the operation named “Guardians of the Walls.” They also bombed across the Gaza Strip with 80 combat planes on Tuesday. Most of the Palestinian victims who died from the incident were from a 13-story residential building that collapsed from the bombing on Tuesday.

Hamas also shot hundreds of rockets across Israel under the operation “Sword of Jerusalem.” The leader of Hamas Ismail Haniyeh said they are ready for the escalation of the war. Islamic Jihad, another militant group in the Gaza Strip, also joined Hamas to fight against Israel. “We launched 100 rockets and other attacks at 5 a.m. today in retaliation of the enemy’s attacks on civilians and buildings,” Islamic Jihad said on Wednesday.

The international community asked both sides to refrain from assault. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki and U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called for the suspension of the battle on Tuesday. The U.N. held a closed emergency meeting for the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday to discuss how to address the issue.

Hyun-Seok Lim lhs@donga.com