The number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank has risen to seven. The Israeli army says one was killed after attempting to stab a soldier. Palestinian health officials confirmed that death and said six other Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire in the occupied West Bank.
The health ministry said five were killed in stone-throwing clashes with Israeli forces in several locations and a sixth was killed during an attempt to stab an Israeli soldier on Friday. A seventh was killed in Nablus.
The West Bank violence comes as Israel unleashed a heavy barrage of tank fire and airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Friday. Israel said it was clearing a network of militant tunnels ahead of a possible ground invasion. The West Bank violence signals a new wave of unrest there as part of the Israel-Gaza escalation.
Meanwhile, amid constant rocket attacks on Israeli towns, Israeli forces fired artillery and launched airstrikes targeting a network of Palestinian militant tunnels under Gaza that it dubbed “the Metro”, Reuters reported.
An Israeli military spokesman said that while ground forces had taken part in the 40-minute, pre-dawn offensive, none had crossed into the Gaza Strip. A woman and her three children were killed in the operation, according to officials.
Amid heightened tensions in the Gaza Strip, clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants intensified on Friday with both sides launching air strikes at each other. Clashes between Arab and Jewish mobs on the streets have also prompted Israeli leaders to warn of a possible civil war.
Even as cross-border fighting enters its fifth day, there appears to be no end in sight. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the campaign “will take more time”, Reuters reported. He described the mayhem playing out in Israeli cities as “anarchy” and appealed for an end to “lynchings.”
In the last four days alone, 119 people were killed in airstrikes, according to the latest government data obtained by Al Jazeera. ( Indian Express )