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Israel intensifies attacks in Gaza as conflict enters fifth day.

Israel has intensified its assault on Gaza, as Palestinian militants continue to fire rockets into Israel on the fifth day of hostilities.

According to Israel's military, air and land troops were engaged in Friday's attacks but had not reached Gaza.

The night sky was lit up by blasts from Israeli artillery, gunboats, and air strikes, according to video from Gaza City.

Since the war started on Monday, 119 people have died in Gaza, and eight have died in Israel.

Meanwhile, Jewish and Israeli-Arab gangs have been battling inside Israel, leading the country's president to issue a warning about civil war.

Defence Minister Benny Gantz has directed a "huge reinforcement" of security forces to quell the domestic violence, which has resulted in the detention of over 400 civilians.

Police say the majority of the trouble has been caused by Israeli Arabs, and they deny that they are standing by while gangs of Jewish youths target Arab homes.

The violence in Gaza and Israel this week is the worst since 2014. It was sparked by weeks of Israeli-Palestinian unrest in East Jerusalem, which resulted in clashes at a holy site revered by Muslims and Jews alike. This escalated into a never-ending barrage of Palestinian missile fire and Israeli airstrikes.

In Gaza, Palestinians fearing an incursion by Israeli troops have been fleeing areas close to the border with Israel. Residents who had left Shejaiya in Gaza City said shells had been falling on homes.

"According to Um Raed al-Baghdadi, there is a lot of shelling, and the kids are terrified. And as adults, we have been at war since we were children. We are terrified and can no longer stand it "

The Israeli military said it had carried out an overnight operation to smash a network of Hamas tunnels known as "the subway," but no troops had reached Gaza. It went on to say that 220 more missiles were launched from Gaza on Thursday evening and Friday morning.

An 87-year-old woman died in southern Israel after collapsing on her way to a bomb shelter near Ashdod. Other cities attacked included Ashkelon, Beersheba, and Yavne.

Mr Netanyahu said in a statement released early Friday morning that the Israeli military campaign against Palestinian militants would last "as long as possible." He went on to say that Hamas, the Islamist faction that controls Gaza, as well as other "terrorism organizations," must pay a high price.

A Hamas military spokesperson said the organization was able to give Israel's military "harsh lessons" if it were to launch a land invasion.

On Thursday, Israel's military activated 7,000 army reservists and deployed troops and tanks along the Gaza border. It stated that a land offensive into Gaza was being discussed, but no decision had been taken.

As the war reached its fifth day, UN Secretary General António Guterres demanded an "immediate de-escalation and cessation of hostilities in Gaza and Israel."

His plea was repeated by other negotiators, including some from Israel's ally, the United States, but appeals to Israeli and Palestinian officials have so far declined to yield a ceasefire resolution.

According to a senior Hamas leader, he said the organization is ready for a "reciprocal" truce if the international community puts pressure on Israel to "suspend military operations" at the controversial al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. 

According to Gaza's health ministry, 27 children have been killed since the battle started, and several other people have died. Another 600 Gazans have been injured.

Israel claims that dozens of those killed in Gaza were militants, and that some of the casualties were caused by rockets fired from Gaza.

A young boy was killed in the Israeli town of Sderot, near Gaza, when rocket fire struck his home and shrapnel entered the shelter he was hiding in.

Israel has now activated ten reserve border patrol companies to assist in resolving the worst violence between Arab and Jewish populations in several years.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has requested that rioters be subjected to "administrative arrest." The contentious bill would allow police to arrest citizens for indefinite stretches of time without charging them.

President Reuven Rivlin called the rioting in many towns and cities a "senseless civil war."

What caused the violence?

The fighting between Israel and Hamas was triggered by days of escalating clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police at a holy hilltop compound in East Jerusalem.

The site is worshipped by Muslims, who refer to it as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary), and Jews, who refer to it as the Temple Mount. Hamas requested that Israel expel police from the area as well as from the neighboring largely Arab city of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families are being evicted by Jewish settlers. When Hamas' ultimatum went unheeded, it fired missiles.

Palestinian rage had already been stoked by weeks of growing unrest in East Jerusalem, exacerbated by a string of clashes with police after Ramadan began in mid-April.

Content created and supplied by: SirPrudent01 (via Opera News )

Benny Gantz Gaza Gaza City Israel Israeli


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