Palestinian resistance groups launch fresh retaliatory attacks on Israel
Iran Press TV
Wednesday, 19 May 2021 1:31 AM
Palestinian resistance groups have launched a fresh round of retaliatory attacks on the occupied territories as the Israeli regime continues with a deadly onslaught against Palestinian civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip despite international calls for a halt to the week-long conflict.
Israeli media said the rockets were launched in the early hours of Wednesday at the cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheba, sending settlers scrambling for shelter.
Israeli officials said two people were killed in rocket attacks on the Eshkol region in southern Israel.
Reports also said huge explosions and plumes of smoke had been sighted near Tel Aviv and made rocket warning sirens to go off.
Israeli media said a missile fired by Palestinian resistance groups had struck the main road connecting Ashdod and Tel Aviv, causing a huge blaze in the area.
Palestine's official Wafa news agency said the reprisal attacks came after a series of violent Israeli airstrikes targeted the southern besieged Gaza Strip.
The news agency said Israeli warplanes had targeted, with at least 40 missiles, nearly 70 locations in the cities of Rafah and Khan Younis, in the south of Gaza, leaving at least seven people injured who were transferred to hospitals for medical treatment.
Qassam hits six Israeli air bases
On Tuesday evening, the Gaza-based Hamas resistance movement's armed wing, Ezzedine al-Qassam, announced that it had targeted six Israeli air bases in response to the raids on the coastal enclave.
The group said its missiles had struck the bases of Hatzor, Hatzerim, Nevatim, Tel Nof, Palmachim and Ramon.
The blockaded Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank have been simmering with rage in the past weeks over the regime's scheme to forcefully and illegally expel dozens of Palestinians from their homes in the volatile Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the Old City in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds as part of a long-running scheme to Judaize Palestinian lands.
The anger further intensified earlier this month with Israeli attacks on Palestinian worshipers in the al-Aqsa Mosque complex during the fasting days of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
Since last Monday, the Tel Aviv regime has been launching large-scale airstrikes across Gaza, razing homes and civilian infrastructure to the ground.
The Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas and other groups have retaliated by firing thousands of rockets toward the occupied Palestinian lands, with many of the projectiles having flown into the depths of the territories.
The Tel Aviv regime has confessed that more than 3,450 rockets have so far been launched from Gaza, with some being intercepted by the so-called Iron Dome missile system.
Gaza medical officials say 217 Palestinians have been killed, including 63 children, and more than 1,400 wounded since the Israeli assault began on May 10. Israeli authorities put the number of deaths in the occupied territories at 12.
Despite international calls for an immediate halt of all hostilities, including from UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged that the onslaught will continue.
Israeli forces clash with protesters in West Bank
In a separate development on Tuesday, Israeli forces attacked Palestinian protesters who had gathered in the occupied West Bank cities of Bethlehem and Beit El to condemn the regime's deadly aggression against the Gaza Strip.
Israeli soldiers fired tear gas to disperse the protesters, who were prompted to hurl rocks and burn tires to express their anger over the regime's onslaught entering ninth day.
Moreover, thousands of People took to the streets of the cities of Ramallah and Hebron, also known as al-Khalil, to voice solidarity with Gazans in their heroic resistance against the occupying regime.
Three people were fatally shot by Israeli forces at the entrance to al-Bireh, northeast of Ramallah, while another man had earlier in the day been killed in Hebron.
Palestinian authorities say Israeli forces have killed 24 Palestinians in the West Bank since May 10.
Reports also said clashes had erupted in the city of Jerusalem al-Quds as well as al-Aqsa Mosque, with Israelis arresting a number of Palestinians.
Also on Tuesday, pro-Palestinian demonstrations were held in several countries to denounce the ongoing Israeli onslaught.
Iranian students gathered in the capital, Tehran, to show their support for Palestinians and condemn the Israeli atrocities.
Americans rallied in the streets of Dearborn in the US state of Michigan as well as Washington DC, where demonstrators gathered in front of the Israeli embassy. Indonesian people also flocked to the streets of the capital, Jakarta, to voice solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and Jerusalem al-Quds.
Several other cities around the world, including London and Istanbul, have over the past week witnessed such rallies as Israel ramped up its attacks against the Palestinians.
Palestinian envoy slams Israel, urges global action
Also on Tuesday, the Palestinian representative to the United Nations blasted Israel for committing crimes against civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip, and lashed out at the United States for its claim that the Tel Aviv regime has the right to defend itself.
Riyad Mansour said Palestinians have the right to resist the Israeli occupation, protect their children against Israeli atrocities and stop the illegal settlement activities on the occupied territories.
The Palestinian representative called on the international community to take action against Israel's crimes and pressurize the regime to stop escalation.
Mansour also highlighted the necessity of an immediate ceasefire and called for the humanitarian assistance to the people in Palestine.
"I asked the UN to issue an emergency call for humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip immediately," Mansour told a press conference at UN headquarters in New York.
"We cannot continue to live under this aggressive apartheid regime. This occupation has to end. We need to have the independence of our state with east Jerusalem as its capital where we can live with dignity and freedom."
The plea came shortly after a fourth UN Security Council meeting on the issue of Palestine ended without producing any tangible result due to the US objection.
Mansour said it was "shameful" that the Council had not expressed "a unified position calling for the end of this aggression."
The US government, which has for long been supporting the apartheid regime and protecting it against further humiliation at the international level, has already blocked three prior drafts calling for an end to Israel's onslaught.
The chair of the Arab Group at the UN also expressed dismay on Tuesday at the Security Council's inability to pronounce itself on the situation. The Irish envoy also slammed the world body's failure to speak out as conflict is raging, resulting in a devastating humanitarian crisis.
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