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Gaza–Israel clashes (May 2019)

A Gaza–Israel conflict escalation began on 3 May 2019, after two Israeli soldiers were injured by sniper fire from the Gaza Strip during the weekly protests at the Gaza–Israel border. In response, the Israeli Air Force carried out an airstrike, killing two Palestinians. Following this, hundreds of rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel, while the Israeli Air Force struck numerous targets within the Gaza Strip. In addition, Israel increased its troop presence near the Israel–Gaza barrier.

A ceasefire facilitated by Egyptian mediators went into effect on 6 May.

Exchanges of fire

Friday, 3 May

On 3 May, during the weekly protests at the Gaza–Israel border, two Israeli soldiers were injured in an attack by a Gazan sniper who, according to Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was connected to Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ).[8][9] In response, the Israel Air Force targeted a nearby Hamas post with an airstrike, killing two people and injuring two others. The men killed were identified as Abdullah Ibrahim Mahmoud Abu Salouh, 33 and Alaa Ali Hasan al-Boubli, 29. Hamas pledged to respond to the "Israeli aggression".[10] In addition, two other Palestinians were killed and 60 wounded,[7] 36 of them by Israeli gunfire.[11]

Saturday, 4 May

According to IDF, more than 250 rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel, causing serious injury to at least one person.[7]

The Israeli Air Force and IDF struck more than 120 sites in the Gaza Strip.[7] According to the Health Ministry of the Gaza Strip, these airstrikes killed four people – two men, and a woman with a toddler.[12] According to Palestinian officials, the woman and toddler who died were identified as Falestine Abu Arar, 37, and her niece Siba Abu Arar, 14-months old. Thirteen other Palestinians were reportedly injured during the day.[13] The IDF denied responsibility, stating that the woman and toddler were killed by Palestinian rocket fire.[12] Al-Risala News run by Hamas also denied the claims against the IDF, saying that the PIJ was responsible for the deaths.[14]

Sunday, 5 May

At least 200 more projectiles were launched from Gaza towards Israel, killing four people and injuring several others. An Israeli man was killed when a rocket struck in front of his home.[15] The man was identified as Moshe Agadi, a 58-year old father of four.[16] A rocket fired overnight damaged an empty kindergarten in Sderot, after landing in its yard and exploding.[17] Later that day, a rocket directly struck a factory in the city of Ashkelon, leaving a man dead and two others injured.[18] A Kornet anti-tank missile hit a private van in the kibbutz community of Yad Mordechai, killing the Israeli driver.[19] Three people were injured in the Eshkol Regional Council – two lightly when a mortar shell landed in a yard, and a Thai worker was moderately wounded by a rocket that exploded in a field where he was working. A 35-year old man was killed by shrapnel from a rocket that hit his Ashdod home later that day.[20]

In response, the IDF struck over 210 sites in the Gaza Strip during the day. A Hamas commander was assassinated by an airstrike during the day while travelling in a car down a street, marking the first targeted killing carried out by Israel in several years.[21] The man was identified as Hamed Ahmed Abed Khudri, and was accused of transferring funds from Iran to Gaza. Palestinian factions threatened to use long-range rockets to attack Israel if the "aggression" continues.[12] During the day, Israel deployed the 7th Armored Brigade and the Golani Brigade to the Gaza–Israel border.[22] Later that day, an Israeli airstrike killed 3 people in the northern Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, including a pregnant woman, according to the Health Ministry of the Gaza Strip. The woman was identified as 33-year old Amani al-Madhoun.[23]

Monday, 6 May

In the early morning of 6 May, a ceasefire agreement mediated by Egypt in its capital city Cairo[24] was reached, taking effect at 4:30 A.M (1:30 UTC). At 7:00 A.M., Israel announced all restrictions for residents of the south were lifted, and schools opened normally.[25]

International response

EU High Representative Federica Mogherini called for armed Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to end rocket shootings towards Israeli territory, holding that attacks lead to suffering on both sides, and that the EU seeks security and stability in the region. She also backed Egypt in its pertinent role in the ceasefire mediation effort.[26] U.S. President Donald Trump backed Israel's right to self-defense. He called on the Gazan people to "end the violence".[27]

See also

References

  1. ^ Reuters (4 May 2019). "Four Palestinians dead, two Israeli soldiers wounded in Gaza clashes" – via www.theguardian.com.
  2. ^ "Israel kills Hamas commander in first targeted strike in years". Reuters. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  3. ^ a b Press, The Associated (6 May 2019). "Gaza Quiet After Israel, Hamas Agree to Cease-Fire" – via NYTimes.com.
  4. ^ a b "234 Israelis injured in latest round of Gaza border violence - Arab-Israeli Conflict - Jerusalem Post". www.jpost.com.
  5. ^ [1] Identities of the Palestinians killed in the most recent round of escalation (Initial report, updated to May 7, 2019)
  6. ^ Report: 3/4 of Palestinians Killed in Latest Gaza Flare-Up Were Terrorists
  7. ^ a b c d "Hostilities flare up as rockets hit Israel from Gaza". BBC. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  8. ^ Kershner, Isabel (4 May 2019). "Gaza Militants Fire 250 Rockets, and Israel Responds With Airstrikes" – via NYTimes.com.
  9. ^ "Gaza-Israel border falls quiet as ceasefire takes hold". 6 May 2019 – via www.reuters.com.
  10. ^ "Two soldiers wounded by gunfire on Gaza border; IDF hits Hamas post, killing 2". Times of Israel. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  11. ^ Magid, Jacob. "Two soldiers wounded by gunfire on Gaza border; IDF hits Hamas post, killing 2". www.timesofisrael.com. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  12. ^ a b c "Death toll rises as Gaza militants fire hundreds of rockets into Israel, which responds with airstrikes". Washington Post. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Pregnant Palestinian woman, baby killed in Israeli raids on Gaza". Al Jazeera. 4 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  14. ^ "Islamic Jihad admits baby, pregnant woman killed by their own rockets - Arab-Israeli Conflict". The Jerusalem Post. 7 May 2019. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  15. ^ "Prime minister orders troop increase in the wake of deadly rocket attack". IsraelHayom. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  16. ^ "Moshe Agadi, 58, Killed in His Backyard; Two Died in Barrage on South". Haaretz. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  17. ^ "Sderot kindergarten heavily damaged by rocket". Times of Israel. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  18. ^ "2 killed as Gaza rockets slam into southern Israel". YNetNews. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Israeli man in critical condition after rocket hits car". Israel National News. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  20. ^ "Ashdod man killed by Gaza rocket, bringing Israeli death toll to 4". Times of Israel. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  21. ^ "TARGETED KILLINGS BEGIN AS SECURITY CABINET DIRECTS IDF TO INTENSIFY STRIKES". Jerusalem Post. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  22. ^ "Israel says fresh Gaza strike kills Hamas's financial liaison to Iran". Times of Israel. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  23. ^ "3 Gazans, including pregnant woman, said killed in Israeli airstrike". Times of Israel. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 5 May 2019.
  24. ^ Karni, Yuval (5 June 2019). "Netanyahu under fire as rivals brand Gaza truce deal a capitulation". Ynetnews. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  25. ^ Zikri, Almog Ben; Khoury, Jack; Kubovich, Yaniv; Landau, Noa; Breiner, Josh; Reuters (6 May 2019). "Palestinian Report: Israel and Hamas Reach Cease-fire; Israeli Army Lifts Restrictions". Haaretz. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  26. ^ "Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the continuing Gaza escalation". EEAS – European External Action Service – European Commission. 5 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2019.
  27. ^ "Possible Cease-fire Between Israel, Palestinian Militants". Possible Cease-fire Between Israel, Palestinian Militants. Voice of America. 6 May 2019. Retrieved 6 May 2019.