Gaza’s health ministry has said that a total of 103 people, including 27 children, have been killed since the Israeli airstrikes began from Monday. Over 580 others have been wounded, reported Al Jazeera.
Israel has begun firing barrages of artillery shells into the north of the Gaza, destroying houses in air raids.
The four days of cross-border violence showed no sign of abating as Palestinians marked the first day of the Eid al-Fitr religious holiday on Thursday.
On the other hand, the Israeli military said that at least three rockets have been fired from south Lebanon towards Israel. “A short while ago, three rockets were fired from Lebanon into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of northern Israel,” tweeted Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The source of the rockets fired at Israel is unclear, and the investigation continues. The rockets that were fired towards northern Israel came from the vicinity of the Rashidieh refugee camp, Al Jazeera reported.
A heavy barrage of dozens of rockets targets the cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon, with many intercepted by the Iron Dome air-defense system, reported The Times of Israel.
Earlier in the day, Israel closed Ben Gurion International Airport to incoming passenger flights, diverting them to Eilat’s Ramon Airport. Hamas said it subsequently targeted that airfield as well.
The ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine marks a dramatic escalation of tensions linked to the potential eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem by Israeli settlers and access to one of the most sacred sites in the city, which is a key hub for Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
With ramping up of rocket attacks and airstrikes from both sides, concerns have emerged that the conflict is likely to evolve into a full-blown war.
About 1,750 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel since the conflict escalation, the Israeli military said on Thursday, reported Sputnik.
“To date, approximately 1,750 rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel, of which approximately 300 launches were unsuccessful, the rockets exploded in the Gaza Strip,” the military said in a statement.
The conflict escalated after Israeli forces raided the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem amid eviction protests, which left scores of Palestinians and police officers wounded. Palestinian resistance groups in Gaza vowed to retaliate for Israeli assaults on Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Over 70 Palestinians in total are set to be evicted from Sheikh Jarrah in the coming weeks to be replaced by right-wing Jewish Israelis, reported The Times of Israel.