Gaza Death Toll Reportedly Climbs to 67, Including 17 Minors

Three rocket salvos were fired toward central Israel in less than an hour overnight ■ Total rockets since beginning of escalation of 1,160 ■ Seven dead in Israel, including a soldier, as well as father and daughter killed in city of Lod, following Gaza rocket fire

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An Israel Defense Forces attack on Gaza on Tuesday.
An Israel Defense Forces attack on Gaza on Tuesday.Credit: Mahmoud Khatab/AFP

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Fighting between Israel and Hamas escalated Wednesday in what was the heaviest conflict since a 2014 war in Gaza. Seven were killed in Israel and at least 67 in the Strip in the most intensive aerial exchanges for years.

Israel carried out hundreds of air strikes in Gaza, as Palestinian militants fired hundreds of rockets at central and southern Israel. The fighting prompted international concern that the situation could spiral out of control.

The Israeli military boosted its presence along the border. Authorities called on local residents to remain at home and near bomb shelters until further notice. Violent clashes between police and protesters spread through Arab cities inside Israel, with one man shot dead.

LIVE UPDATES

8:19 A.M. 1,160 rockets fired at Israel since outbreak of violence

1,160 rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip since the outbreak of the violence this week, Israeli authorities said on Thursday morning. From this figure, around 240 of these rockets landed in the sea or in the Strip. (Almog Ben Zikri)

8:10 A.M. Israel redirecting arriving flights to Eilat airport

Israel's Civil Aviation Authority has announced that all commercial flights arriving at Ben-Gurion International Airport will be redirected to Ramon Airport in Eilat, in light of the escalating security situation.

Departures from Ben-Gurion International Airport, however, will continue as scheduled, as well as landings of cargo flights. (Rina Rozenberg Kandel)

>> Read more on the impact on air travel

8:02 A.M. IDF: 130 rockets fired at Israel in last 12 hours

The IDF reported that around 130 rockets were fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip since 8 P.M. on Wednesday evening. They estimate that 24 of the rockets fell within Gaza. (Yaniv Kubovich)

7:52 A.M. Sirens sounded in on Israel's Gaza border

Israel's border towns are facing renewed rocket sirens on Thursday morning. The alarms are being sounded in Sderot and the surrounding kibbutzim. (Almog Ben Zikri)

7:40 A.M. IDF claims it hit more than 600 Hamas targets in total

The Israeli army spokesperson has said that the IDF has hit more than 600 Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the military operation.

This includes a tunnel located under a school, the Islamic movement's internal security organization, as well as several branches of Hamas' central bank in the enclave, the spokesperson claimed.

The IDF also claimed to strike the home of Iyad Tayyeb, a battalion commander in Hamas's military wing, overnight. (Yaniv Kubovich)

6:48 A.M. Dozens of Palestinians reported wounded after clashes with Israeli army in West Bank

Dozens of Palestinians suffered gunshot and sponge-tipped bullet wounds overnight Wednesday during clashes with Israeli army forces in the West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah reports.

In Jerusalem, 51 people were hospitalized, 20 in Hebron, seven in Nablus, and five in Tul Karm. One of the wounded is in critical condition and three others suffered serious wounds. (Jack Khoury)

6:37 A.M. Death toll in Gaza climbs to 67, 388 wounded reported, Palestinian Health Ministry says

Gaza Strip's death toll climbs to 67, including 17 minors, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Moreover, at least 388 Palestinians in the enclave were wounded, including 115 children and teenagers. (Jack Khoury)

6:12 A.M. Israeli army strike Hamas commander's home in Gaza

Israeli jets attacked on Thursday the house of a Hamas commander, the army spokesperson unit said.

"The IDF carries on with its strikes on terror targets in the Gaza Strip," the statement said. (Yaniv Kubovich)

5:30 A.M. Rocket siren sounded in southern Israel

After almost two hours of relative calm, rocket sirens sounded early Thursday in the Gaza border community of Kerem Shalom. 

Twenty minutes later a second wave of sirens was heard throughout the area. (Haaretz)

3:18 A.M Rocket sirens blare in southern Israel 

Rocket sirens sounded in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. (Haaretz)

1:59 A.M Gaza rocket hits house in Tel Aviv suburb

A residential house in the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva suffered a direct Gaza rocket hit overnight Wednesday, five were reported lightly wounded. A fire broke out at the site. (Bar Peleg)

1:53 A.M. Third consecutive Gaza rocket barrage toward Tel Aviv, central Israel 

A third Gaza rocket barrage, in less than an hour, toward Tel Aviv and central Israel was fired overnight Wednesday. (Haaretz)

1:38 A.M. Israeli airstrikes hit 'strategic' Hamas properties in Gaza, army says

The Israeli army attacked "strategic" Hamas properties overnight Wednesday and carried out a number of targeted assassinations in the Gaza Strip, the army spokesperson unit says.

According to an army statement, "In the last two hours, IDF jets and aircrafts have attacked strategic Hamas properties and a naval cell in Gaza." (Yaniv Kubovich)

1:27 A.M. U.S. National Security Advisor speaks with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister to defuse tensions

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke overnight Wednesday with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani in ongoing efforts to defuse tensions. (Ben Samuels)

1:14 A.M. Rocket sirens blare in central Israel

Rocket sirens persist in Israel overnight Wednesday, as rocket alerts sounded in central Israel. Witnesses say that sirens went off in northern Israel as well.(Haaretz)

1:03 A.M. Rocket sirens blare in central Israel

Rocket sirens sounded in central and south Israel. (Haaretz)

12:29 A.M. Dozens of Palestinians reported injured in West Bank

The Palestinian Red Crescent has reported overnight Wednesday that dozens of Palestinans were injured following clashes with Israeli army forces in the West Bank.

Eleven suffered live fire injuries, two of whom are in serious condition. (Jack Khoury)

12:22 A.M. Prime Minister Netanyahu calls soaring violence ‘anarchy’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called overnight Wednesday the recent violent clashes in Israel “anarchy.” 

“What happens in Israeli cities in recent days is intolerable. We see Arab rioters setting synagogues and cars on fire, clash with officers and hurt innocent civilians,” he said. 

There is no “justification for Arabs lynching Jews, or Jews lynching Arabs,” he added. (Jonathan Lis)

WEDNESDAY

11:34 P.M. Palestinian Authority President says 'Israeli aggression' has crossed every line

Mahmoud Abbas President of the Palestinian Authority has commented Wedensday night on the recent escalation and said that the “Israeli aggression” has crossed every line. “Jerusalem is a red line,” he said, “and there is no peace or stability without the termination of the occupation.” (Jack Khouri)

11:28 P.M. 54 wounded are treated in hospitals throughout Israel

In Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, 35 wounded are currently treated, of which 8 are family members. All of the wounded have arrived to the hospital following Gaza rocket fire to south Israel.

At least 14 wounded were evacuated to Shamir Medical Center in Tzrifin, all of which have been evacuated following the clashes in the central mixed city of Lod.

Four lightly wounded are also treated in Rambam Health Care Campus in Haifa. A 19-year-old who was injured as he was trying to escape protesters. (Noa Shpigel)

11:24 P.M. 5-year-old child from Sderot succumbs to wounds

A five-year-old child from Sderot who suffered critical wounds after shrapnel from a rocket penetrated his family's bomb shelter has died. (Almog Ben Zikri)

11:00 P.M. Security cabinet approves escalating military strikes in Gaza

During Wednesday night’s security cabinet meeting, ministers approved escalating attacks on targets in Gaza in accordance with the plan presented by Defense Minister Benny Gantz and military Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi. The ministers did not establish a specific benchmark for ending the strikes, and military action is expected to continue. Sources familiar with the discussion said it did not seriously address violent rioting and attacks in Lod, Bat Yam, and Acre. Gantz asked that a separate meeting be held regarding  the clashes. (Jonathan Lis) 

10:20 P.M. Security cabinet agrees unanimously agrees not to accept ceasefire

A meeting by the security cabinet ended with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other ministers unanimously agreeing that Israel will not yet accept a ceasefire and will continue military strikes in Gaza. (Jonathan Lis)

9:50 P.M. 180 rockets fired from Gaza since 6 A.M., 40 fell within Strip, military says

Some 180 rockets were fired from Gaza between 6 A.M. and 8 P.M. on Wednesday, the military said. Around 40 of them fell short and landed within the enclave, while dozens of rockets were intercepted, according to the military's statement. (Haaretz)

9:24 P.M. 26 arrive for treatment at Ashkelon hospital within past hour

Twenty-six people arrived for treatment at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon within an hour on Wednesday evening, including five children, the hospital's director said. Eighteen of them were wounded by rockets in Ashkelon, all of whom were in light to moderate condition, while eight more, including the children, were from Sderot and had various levels of injury. Some were taken into surgery, the hospital said. Meanwhile, two people who were lightly wounded during rioting in Lod arrived at Shamir Medical Center, Tel Aviv and Tzrifin. (Nir Hasson and Bar Peleg)

9:21 P.M. Ashkelon residents told to stay in shelters until further instruction

Residents of Ashkelon have been told to enter their shelters immediately and remain there until further notice. They were also told not to move about the city or be in an open area. (Haaretz)

9:02 P.M. Second consecutive rocket volley launched at Israeli south from Gaza

8:57 P.M. Sirens blare in Ashdod, Ashkelon, southern Israeli communities

8:16 P.M. Two rockets land in Netivot, no injuries or damage

Two rockets landed in the southern city of Netivot on Wednesday evening, without causing injuries or damage. One rocket fell in an open area and the other in a street in the city. (Haaretz)

8:15 P.M. Netanyahu speaks with U.S. Secretary of State Blinken

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday evening, thanking him for his statement in support of Israel's right to defend itself. (Jonathan Lis)

7:52 P.M. Right-wing extremists clash with Border Police in Lod

Right-wing extremists clashed with Border Police in the city of Lod on Wednesday evening, ahead of an overnight curfew announced after confrontations between Jews and Arabs in the city resumed. (Bar Peleg)

7:34 P.M. Hamas says it fired 130 rockets at central Israel

The military wing of Hamas said Wednesday evening that it had fired 130 rockets at central Israel in retaliation for the killing of several of its top officials earlier in the day. (Jack Khoury)

7:30 P.M. Seven wounded as rocket hits house in Sderot, six-year-old in critical condition

A five-year-old child was critically wounded when a rocket hit a house in Sderot on Wednesday, after a barrage fired at cities in southern and central Israel. Six more people were wounded, one seriously, two moderately and four lightly. 

According to witnesses, four of the wounded, including the five-year-old child, are members of the same family, and were hit when a piece of shrapnel tore through the window of their bomb shelter. It is suspected that the shrapnel penetrated because the window was not sealed. (Ido Efrati)

7:20 P.M. Rocket volley launched toward central Israel

7:19 P.M. Clashes resume in Lod, at least 20 arrested

Clashes resumed in Lod on Wednesday evening, as Jews faced off with residents of the city's Arab neighborhoods in the area near the mourning tent set up by the family of Moussa Hassouna, shot dead by a Jewish resident on Tuesday night. At least 20 people were arrested. Both Jews and Arabs threw stones and police fired stun grenades, including into the mourning tent. (Bar Peleg)

7:08 P.M. Airstrike targets vehicle in Gaza with anti-tank squad inside, military says

An airstrike on Wednesday targeted a vehicle in the southern Gaza Strip carrying a squad responsible for anti-tank fire, the military said. Earlier in the day, an Israeli soldier was killed when an anti-tank missile was fired from Gaza at his Jeep. (Yaniv Kubovich)

6:57 P.M. Senior Hamas official says ready to halt attacks on 'mutual basis'

A senior Hamas official said the Islamist group was ready to halt attacks against Israel on a "mutual basis," the Russian foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

It also quoted the Hamas official as telling a Russian deputy foreign minister that the international community should press Israel to stop using force at Jerusalem's Al-Aqsa mosque. (Reuters)

6:08 P.M. Nighttime curfew announced in Lod

Israeli police announced on Wednesday a nighttime curfew in the central city of Lod, after authorities declared a state of emergency in the mixed Arab-Jewish city following a series of attacks and violent clashes the night before.

The curfew, in effect from 8 P.M. until Thursday at 4 A.M., restricts all residents to their homes and bars the entry of non-residents.

Police beefed up forces in the city after a state of emergency was declared. In a statement, police said the unusual measures are meant to “maintain the safety and security of Lod residents and safeguard their property.”

Five hundred Border Police officers have been placed in the city. Residents will be allowed to enter the city only if they are returning from work. (Josh Breiner)

6:07 P.M. 17-year-old Israeli Arab shot and seriously wounded near Umm al-Fahm

A 17-year-old from the Israeli Arab city of Umm al-Fahm was shot and seriously wounded on Wednesday morning, with his family saying that he was shot with live fire by a riot police officer at a traffic junction south of the city. The police said it was not yet clear whether he was shot by police or rioters. The Justice Ministry unit that investigates alleged police misconduct has opened an investigation, as have the police themselves.

Police arrived in the area in the early morning in response to a complaint about young Arabs searching for Jews driving on the main road in Wadi Ara and trying to attack them or preventing them from driving onward. About an hour before the teenager’s death was reported, a police officer shot at a driver trying to run over another officer. The car sped away and has not yet been located. Authorities are looking into whether there is a connection between the incidents The officer was hit by the car and wounded. (Noa Shpigel) 

5:43 P.M. Rocket sirens sound in Eshkol Regional Council 

(Almog Ben Zikri)

5:40 P.M. IDF opens artillery fire on Gaza

The Israeli military has opened artillery fire at the Gaza Strip in the past hour, and has stationed artillery batteries on the border. (Yaniv Kubovich)

5:28 P.M. Gaza Health Ministry says 56 people killed

The Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza reported that 56 people have been killed, including 14 children, five women and one senior citizen, and 335 wounded in the current round of violence (Jack Khoury)

5:20 P.M. Energy minister shuts down Tamar gas field 'in order to exercise caution'

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz ordered that the Tamar gas field cease operations Tuesday afternoon "in order to exercise caution," his bureau said. The Tamar gas field lies off of Israel's northern coast, and is further east than the Leviathan gas field, which is about twice its size.

The statement from Steinitz said that halting the field's work is within his authority, and that he did so after consulting with defense officials and energy experts: "At the same time, we will take different steps in order to guarantee the continued supply of gas to power stations and factories throughout Israel, and no disturbances in Israel's electricity supply are expected."

In reference to recent reports of an attempt to attack the gas field, which were denied by defense officials, the statement said that "there is no connection between the minister's decision yesterday and the current reports." (Israel Fisher)

4:59 P.M. Israeli killed in anti-tank missile strike is 21-year-old soldier

The Israeli military has identified the man killed by an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza as Staff Sgt. Omer Tabib, 21, from Elyakim. His family has been notified.

Two other soldiers were wounded when the missile was fired from the northern Gaza Strip at their Jeep, one of them seriously. They were taken to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. The army is examining whether the path their Jeep took was in accordance with military guidelines. 

IDF Spokesman Hidai Zilberman said that the armored Jeep entered the Netiv Ha'asara community for a defensive mission. He added that after the missile strike, Hamas fired mortar shells in an attempt to make it more difficult for the injured soldiers to be evacuated. (Yaniv Kubovich)

4:13 P.M. Netanyahu on Hamas assassinations: 'This is just the beginning'

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Wolfson Medical Center, where a 3-year-old girl is recovering from her injuries after a rocket strike in Holon Tuesday.

"I said yesterday that these people of darkness, these Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, have blood on their hands, and an hour ago we assassinated senior commanders in Hamas' headquarters, including the commander of Gaza City and other commanders. This is just the beginning. We will hit them with strikes they have never dreamed of," Netanyahu said.

4:02 P.M. Israel releases names of assassinated Hamas leaders 

Israel said it assassinated four senior Hamas officials in strikes on the Gaza Strip, adding to several top operatives from Palestinian militant groups killed by Israel in the latest flare-up, which started Monday. 

According to the Shin Ben security service, the strikes in Khan Yunis and Gaza City also killed about a dozen operatives in Hamas’ rocket operation, and destroyed a major Hamas research and development center.

One of the four top officials killed is Bassem Issam, who headed the Hamas military wing’s operations in Gaza City since 2017 and was heavily involved in the group’s rocket manufacturing. According to the Shin Bet, he had a key role in allowing the use of force against Israel. Hamas has confirmed his death.

Jumah Tahleh led the organization’s cyber operations and its rocket upgrade project. He was considered a close confidant of Mohammed Def, the leader of Hamas' military wing, and according to Israel led the group’s weapons acquisition.

The two other top officials killed in the Israeli operation are Jamal Zibda, a senior engineer who worked on rocket production and development, and Hazem Khatib, head of the engineer department in Hamas’ rocket production apparatus. (Amos Harel)

4:01 P.M. Islamist party leader says coalition talks must resume when fighting stops

Coalition talks must resume once hostilities between Gaza and Israel end, United Arab List Chairman Mansour Abbas said Wednesday, two days after freezing negotiations over the escalation of violence in Jerusalem and Gaza.

"The only option is to resume the political negotiations to build a government after the shooting dies down," he said.

Speaking on Radio Makan, Abbas added: "We have a real opportunity to fulfill an important role in Israeli politics, for the benefit of our society. No government can arise without UAL." (Michael Hauser Tov)

>> Click here to read the full report

3:59 P.M. Woman killed in strike on central Israel Tuesday identified as Leah Yom Tov, 63

The woman killed in Rishon Letzion in a rocket strike from Gaza on Tuesday has been identified as city resident Leah Yom Tov, 63. Yom Tov leaves behind two children and five grandchildren. Moshe, her oldest son, said that his mother "was a woman who was filled with love." Before the rocket hit, Moshe said, his mother "was with my six-year-old daughter and came back with her. Forty-five minutes later, it happened." (Almog Ben Zikri)

3:44 P.M. U.K. PM Johnson: 'deeply concerned' about hostilities in Israel and Gaza

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday he was deeply concerned about the current hostilities in Israel and Gaza, reaffirming Britain's support for a two-state solution.

"I'm deeply concerned by what we're seeing," Johnson told Parliament. "We all want to see urgent de-escalation by both sides. The position of this government is ... we continue to believe that a two-state solution is the best way forward." (Reuters)

3:44 P.M. Rivlin condemns 'riots by Arab mob' in Lod

President Reuven Rivlin harshly condemned on Wednesday "pogroms" and "riots by Arab mob," after protests in the central Israeli city of Lod and across the country spilled into attacks and violent clashes between Jews and Arabs.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the incidents are reminiscent of "sights from our people's past, and we cannot accept that." During a visit in the northern city of Acre, where businesses were torched the night before, he vowed to "stop anarchy" and "bring back sovereignty to Israel's cities with an iron fist if necessary." (Jonathan Lis)

>> Click here to read the full report

3:30 P.M. IDF says it fired on Hamas cell that launches anti-tank missiles

The Israeli military said that it struck a vehicle carrying a Hamas anti-tank missile cell. (Yaniv Kubovich)

3:29 P.M. UN Security Council to discuss violence

The United Nations Security Council will meet in an emergency session on Wednesday morning to discuss the escalating violence in Israel and Gaza.

According to diplomats, the consultations were initiated by China, Tunisia, Norway, France, Estonia, Ireland, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Niger and Vietnam.

The UN special envoy for the Middle East, Tor Wennesland, will brief the Security Council behind closed doors.

At an earlier meeting on Monday, the Security Council was unable to agree on a joint statement. (DPA)

3:21 P.M. Hamas: 15 missiles fired at Dimona

Hamas' military wing took responsibility for firing a barrage of 15 missiles at the southern city of Dimona. (Jack Khoury

3:15 P.M. Rocket sirens blare in Be'er Sheva as barrages continue

Barrages continue to hit Israel's southern cities as sirens sound in Be'er Sheva, Yavne, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Rahat, Ofakim and in Gaza border communities.  

3:00 P.M. Gazans: 53 Palestinians killed, 320 wounded

The Gaza Health Ministry reported that 53 Palestinains, including 14 children and three women, have been killed by Israeli strikes on the Strip. It reports that 320 people have been wounded. (Jack Khoury)

1:40 P.M. Gantz requests to extend state of emergency for another two weeks

Defense Minister Benny Gantz requested that the government extend its state of emergency on the home front, at a distance of about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the Gaza Strip, for an additional two weeks.

The defense minister has the authority to declare a special state of emergency for 48 hours. Gantz declared the state of emergency two days ago, and it is due to expire just before 8 P.M. In order to extend it, he will need the approval of the cabinet, and then of particular Knesset committees. Due to its urgency, the Defense Ministry said, the request will go to a cabinet vote by phone.

"This order will give the IDF and the Home Front Command the authority to limit the population, gatherings, clear out areas in accordance with intelligence and to close schools," the ministry said. (Yaniv Kubovich

1:57 P.M. Israel says it carried out broad assassination campaign against Hamas leaders

The IDF and Shin Bet have carried out an operation to assassinate a number of senior Hamas officials in Gaza City and Khan Younis, the IDF spokesperson's Unit said Wednesday.

They are considered central members of Hamas' military headquarters and associates of Hamas' Military leader Mohammed Def, the military said. (Yaniv Kubovich)

1:55 P.M. Sirens sound in Ashkelon and Ashdod amid rocket barrage

Rocket sirens sounded throughout southern Israel, including the cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod, as a barrage of rockets was launched from Gaza.

1:45 P.M. Cabinet to discuss expanding operation

The Israeli cabinet is slated to meet at 5:30 P.M. to discuss expanding the operation in Gaza. (Jonathan Lis

1:35 P.M. Israel-Hamas truce efforts ceased due to Islamic Jihad assassinations

Efforts trying to facilitate mediation between Israel and Hamas have ceased on Tuesday after Israel killed three Islamic Jihad commanders in targeted assassinations in Gaza, Palestinian and Egyptian sources told Haaretz.

Diplomatic sources said Israel rejected a request by Hamas, which was passed on by international mediators, to discuss a truce. Later Wednesday an Egyptian security delegation is slated to enter the Gaza Strip. (Jack Khoury and Jonathan Lis)

>> Click here to read the full report

1:23 P.M. IDF: Hamas attempt to fire rockets at Ashdod, Ashkelon thwarted

The Israeli military reported that it foiled a Hamas attempt to fire rockets at the Israeli cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon. "The launcher was prepared to immediately fire 10 rockets from the Gaza Strip," the IDF statement said. (Yaniv Kubovich)

1:14 P.M. Israel strikes Hamas cell

The Israeli military said that it has struck a Hamas cell that was preparing to launch a drone at Israel. (Yaniv Kubovich)

1:11 P.M. Gaza Health Ministry: 48 dead

The Gaza Health Ministry reported that 48 people have died in the current round of fighting with Israel, including 14 minors. The number of wounded stands at 304. (Jack Khoury)

1:09 P.M. Gantz in Ashkelon: The IDF will continue to strike Gaza

In a speech in Ashkelon, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said that "In Gaza, towers are falling, factories are collapsing, tunnels are being wiped out and commanders are being assassinated. The IDF will continue to strike and bring complete silence for the long-term."

He added that the current campaign has no end date at this time: "We will not accept rebuke from any organization or institution about our right and duty to protect the citizens of Israel."

While in the southern city, which has been hard-hit by rocket barrages, Gantz and Michael Biton – the minister at the Defense Ministry – visited the city's situation room, where they received a situation report from the mayor. (Yaniv Kubovich)  

12:52 P.M. Arab MKs call for calm amid riots in Lod and Ramle

A number of Knesset members called for calm and an end to the violence in Lod and Ramle on Tuesday night. Meretz MK Esawi Freige wrote on Twitter that "The anarchy in the streets threatens our existence as a community," and that "We as leaders of the public have one mission: to act to calm tensions, to understand Arabs and Jews as one, that we are neighbors and not enemies. Please, cease the violence."

United Arab List Chairman Mansour Abbas wrote, "The protests in the Arab community are developing in the most dangerous direction, and violent popular protests have boiled over into violence and a head-on collision." He called on "everyone to act responsibly and be disciplined, and to follow the law and order."   

Joint List Chairman Aymen Odeh also decried "attacks on innocent civilians."

11:39 Gaza Health Ministry: 43 dead

The Gaza Health Ministry reported that the death toll has risen to 43 in the Strip, including 13 minors. There are currently 269 wounded. (Jack Khoury)

11:26 A.M. One victim of anti-tank missile attack succumbs to wounds

The Magen David Adom rescue service said that one of the victims who was injured when an anti-tank missile fired from Gaza hit a vehicle on the Israeli side of the border has died. The Israeli death toll now stands at six. (Haaretz)

11:12 A.M. Gaza reports: Four killed in IDF strike on vehicle

Reports in Gaza say that four people were killed after the Israeli military fired on a vehicle in Lahia, in the northern Gaza Strip. (Jack Khoury)

10:45 A.M. Rocket sirens blare in Gaza border communities

10:41 A.M. Anti-tank missile fired from Gaza at Israel

Three were injured after an anti-tank missile was fired from northern Gaza at Israel. The strike hit a Jeep, wounding two critically and one moderately.

Hamas' military wing claimed responsibility for the strike, saying that it fired "a directed missile that hit an Israeli vehicle." Rocket sirens sounded immediately after in the area, and medical teams treated the injured while under rocket fire. (Yaniv Kubovich, Jack Khoury, Ido Efrati)

10:26 A.M. Bennett: Gaza campaign shouldn't stop until 'Hamas pays a heavy price'

Yamina Chairman Naftali Bennett called on the government not to stop the current campaign in Gaza "before Hamas pays a heavy price." Bennett added that "The Public Security Ministry and police must immediately ensure the security of families besieged in their homes in fear of the Arab rioters and bring them to justice."

10:07 A.M. Palestinian, Egyptian sources say they held talks to establish calm

Palestinian and Egyptian sources told Haaretz that they held talks to end the escalations until Tuesday afternoon, and that they ended due to opposition by Israel and three Islamic Jihad commanders. Egyptian intelligence shows that the end of the Ramadan holiday today is an opportunity for a cease-fire, the sources said.

Ismail Haniyeh, the head of Hamas' political burueau, said in a speech Tuesday night that contacts were held in an attempt to calm the situation with a number of countries, among them Qatar and Egypt. "We clarified that the one who started this campaign and aggression is Israel and not us. They are the ones who murdered and hurt women and children, and Israel is responsible," Haniyeh said. He added, "We are ready for an escalation and ready for calm, on the condition that they end the aggression against Al Quds [Jerusalem]." (Jack Khoury)

10:00 A.M. Gaza border community instructed to remain in their homes

Residents of Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, whose residents live about four kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Gaza border, were told to enter their homes immediately and remain there until further notice. (Almog Ben Zikri)

10:00 A.M. Gaza Health Ministry: 35 dead since escalation began

Gaza's Health Ministry said that 15 more people were killed in the Strip in the past 24 hours, raising the death toll to 35. Twelve of the dead are minors and three are women; 233 people have been injured.

9:57 A.M. ICC says they are following East Jerusalem, Gaza violence

International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said that she is following "with great concern the escalation of violence in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as in and around Gaza, and the possible commission of crimes under the Rome Statute."

She called for calm, restraint and an end to the escalations.


9:39 Erdogan, Putin discuss Israel in call

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russia's Vladimir Putin discussed tensions in Gaza and Jerusalem in a phone call, Turkey's presidency said on Wednesday, as Ankara seeks international action against Israel.

Israel carried out hundreds of air strikes in Gaza into Wednesday morning as the Islamist group Hamas and other Palestinian militants fired rocket barrages over the border, in the most intense exchange in years that killed at least 35 people.

Erdogan told Putin the international community needed to "teach a deterrent lesson" to Israel, adding that Ankara was working to mobilize this reaction, according to a statement from his office.

Erdogan also called for work to be done on sending international peacekeepers to the region to help safeguard Palestinians, a proposal Turkey has made since 2018. (Reuters)

9:34 A.M. Israeli army attacks home and weapons depot of senior Hamas official 

The Israeli army said it had attacked the home of a senior Hamas official, Salah Dahman, which had served as the organization's weapons depot. (Haaretz)

9:32 A.M. More than 200 patients have been treated in Israeli hospitals due to rocket attacks

Hospitals in the center and south of the country have treated more than 200 casualties in the past day as a result of rocket fire from Gaza or violent incidents that took place Tuesday night.

Seven were in serious condition, while most of those treated have been experiencing anxiety or were injured while on their way to a shelter.

At Wolfson Medical Center, four patients are hospitalized in critical condition, including a five-year-old girl who was hit Tuesday by a rocket near a bus in Holon.

The Rambam Medical Center is treating an 84-year-old man in serious condition after a hotel in Acre was set on fire, and a 16-year-old girl who was lightly injured in the face by a stone.

At the Galil Medical Center in Nahariya, four police officers were treated after being injured by stones thrown at them during a demonstration in Acre, as well as a municipal inspector who was hit in the head and a young man who was injured in the leg during the demonstration. The hospital also treated a 17-year-old boy and a 76-year-old woman who suffered from smoke inhalation as a result of the hotel in Acre being set on fire. (Haaretz)

9:29 A.M. Mansour Abbas calls for end to violent protests

United Arab List Leader Mansour Abbas called for an end to the violence that has taken place in Israeli cities over the last two days.

"Protests in Arab society are moving in a very dangerous direction, as popular protests have escalated into violence," he said. "This is a threat to peace for young Arabs. I call on everyone to behave responsibly and to adhere to the rule of law. I call on our leadership to act accordingly and to call on everyone to calm down and protect public order." (Jack Khoury)

8:45 A.M. IDF intercepted drone crossing from Gaza into Israel

The IDF announced Wednesday morning that they intercepted a drone crossing from Gaza into Israeli territory. (Yaniv Kubovich)

8:44 A.M. Hundreds throw stones at police on Temple Mount, 7 arrested

The police announced Wednesday morning that hundreds of masked men threw stones and objects at police officers, and that seven of them were arrested. The police added that there are thousands of worshipers at the site, and that they are maintaining quiet. (Nir Hasson)

8:43 A.M. Father and daughter killed in Lod had no bomb shelter

Nadine and Khalil Awaad, the father and daughter who were killed during rocket attacks on their village of Dhamas near Lod, had no way of protecting themselves from the rocket fire. Like the other homes in their village, theirs had no bomb shelter. Their relative Ismail Arafat lives there as well and is one of the people leading the struggle for recognition of the village. 

“We have nowhere to go," he said. "We don’t have a bomb shelter here for everyone. For the Thai [migrant] workers they built shelters, but we were not allowed because we are not humans. Nadine and Khalil were in the middle of breakfast before fasting. It seems that he opened the door and that’s how he was hit.” (Bar Peleg)

7:58 A.M. Hamas: airstrikes destroyed all Gaza police buildings

Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza Strip have destroyed all police buildings in the coastal territory, according to Gaza's Hamas-led Interior Ministry.

The buildings were shelled by fighter jets, a ministry spokesman said Wednesday morning. (DPA)

7:50 A.M. Public transportation reduced from Gaza border communities

The Home Front Command announced that public transportation will be reduced from Gaza border communities to central Israel.

7:31 A.M. IDF: 850 rockets fired from beginning of escalation

An IDF spokesman said that since the beginning of the escalation on Tuesday, about 850 rockets have been fired at Israel. Between 85-90 percent of them were intercepted by the Iron Dome.

The IDF has attacked about 500 targets in the Gaza Strip and attacked two towers on Tuesdaya night. The IDF intends to attack underground targets as well. The armor division and paratroopers "are preparing according to the operational plans approved for war in Gaza in the past year," the military said.

The IDF also said that during the night, it began arresting senior Hamas figures in the West Bank. (Yaniv Kubovich)

7:09 A.M. Palestinian killed in Ramallah by IDF

A Palestinian was killed by IDF fire in Hebron, the Health Ministry in Ramallah said. (Haaretz)

6:20 A.M. IDF strikes homes of senior Hamas officials

The Israeli army says it destroyed the homes of three senior Hamas officials in Gaza. (Haaretz)

6:05 A.M. Death toll in Gaza rises to 35

Gaza's Health Ministry says the total number of those killed in Israeli attacks now stands at 35, including 12 children and teenagers, and three women. The number of wounded is now 233.

5.31: A.M. IDF kills two top Hamas intelligence leaders

The Israeli army says it killed two "key operatives" from the military intelligence wing of Hamas. (Haaretz)

4:49 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in Israeli cities near Gaza

Another round of rocket sirens sounded in Israeli cities near Gaza, including Rehovot, Ashdod and Gedera. (Haaretz)

4:30: A.M. IDF kills two Hamas operatives in Gaza

The Israeli army says it killed two Hamas operatives in an airstrike in Gaza. The two operatives were involved in firing rockets at Israel, according to the army. (Almog Ben Zikri)

3:50 A.M. Teen and father killed in rocket attack

A 16-year-old girl and her father, 52, were killed in a rocket attack in the city of Lod in central Israel. (Almog Ben Zikri)

3:41 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in central Israel

More rocket sirens sounded in central Israeli cities of Bat Yam, Rishon Lezion and Holon. (Bar Peleg)

3:40 A.M. 84-year-old man injured on his way to bomb shelter

An 84-year-old man is being treated by medics after collapsing on his way to a bomb shelter in Tel Aviv. (Ido Efrati)

3:38 A.M. Gaza rocket hits house in Israeli city

A house in the town of Yehud in central Israel was hit directly by a rocket from Gaza. (Bar Peleg)

3:24 A.M. Renewed rocket attacks on Tel Aviv

Rocket sirens sounded in the Tel Aviv area, as well as suburbs of Bat, Yam, Ra'anana and the southern city of Be'er Sheva. (Haaretz)

00.30 A.M. Rocket sirens sound in Gaza border communities

Another round of rocket sirens sounded in Gaza border communities late Tuesday night, just hours after a barrage of rockets were fired at central Israel. (Haaretz)

TUESDAY

11:36 P.M. Schools close in central Israel after rocket barrage 

Following the rocket barrage from Gaza over central Israel, schools will be closed on Wednesday in Tel Aviv, Ramat Gan, Herzliya, Holon, Lod and a number of other cities. (Almog Ben Zikri)

11:19 P.M. 30 killed and 200 injured in Israeli attacks in Gaza

Gaza's Health Ministry says 30 people have been killed in Israeli attacks, and 200 injured. (Haaretz)

11:00 P.M. Israel resumes flights

Israel has resumed flights after briefly halting all take-offs on Tuesday night over rocket fire by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, the Israel Airports Authority said. (Reuters)

10:58 P.M. U.S. puts brake on UN statement

The United States is delaying United Nations Security Council efforts to issue a public statement on escalating tensions between Israel and the Palestinians because it could be harmful to behind-the-scenes efforts to end the violence, say diplomats and a source familiar with the U.S. strategy.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the source said Washington is "actively engaged in diplomacy behind the scenes with all parties to achieve a ceasefire" and was concerned that a council statement might be counterproductive at the moment.

The Security Council privately discussed on Monday clashes in East Jerusalem around Al-Aqsa mosque. The holy city has been tense during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, with the threat of a court ruling evicting Palestinians from homes claimed by Jewish settlers adding to the friction.

Before a further upsurge of violence, the 15-member Security Council began discussions on a draft statement that would express concern about the clashes and the potential evictions, call on Israel to cease Jewish settlement activities, demolitions and evictions, and urge general restraint.

Such statements have to be agreed by consensus. But diplomats said the United States, a close ally of Israel, told council counterparts that the body should not issue a statement at the moment. (Reuters)

10:56 P.M. Netanyahu, Gantz warn Gaza groups, say campaign 'will take time'

"Hamas and Islamic Jihad have paid – and will pay – a heavy price for their aggression," Prime Minister Benjamin Netayahu said in a statment Tuesday. "It will take time. We’ll restore security for the citizens of Israel," he added. 

Defense Minister Benny Gantz, who spoke after Netayahu, said: “We have the right and the duty to act against violations of our sovereignty."

Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi added: "We are ready to expand the fight as much as needed. We are determined to hurt the terror groups in a very serious way." (Haaretz)

For previous updtaes click here

Israeli soldiers near the site of the anti-tank missile strike, this morning.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Gaza rocket intercepted over southern Israel. Credit: Eliyahu Hershkowitz

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