• Fri. Jun 9th, 2023

All You Need to Know About Latest Israel-Palestine Tensions


Apr 7, 2023

Last Updated: April 07, 2023, 05:58 IST

A demonstrator holds Palestinian flags next to burning tires during a protest over tension in Jerusalem, at the Israel-Gaza border fence, east of Gaza City April 5, 2023. (Image: Reuters)

Israel responded by air strikes against Hamas in the Gaza Strip late at night after vowing retaliation for a barrage of rockets from Lebanese soil

Unidentified militants on Thursday fired a rocket salvo into Israel from across its northern border with Lebanon, wounding at least two people and escalating tensions in the region.

Israel responded by air strikes against Hamas in the Gaza Strip late at night after vowing retaliation for a barrage of rockets from Lebanese soil, which it blamed on Palestinian groups.

A few hours before the strikes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised that Israel’s enemies would “pay the price”.

The latest developments in the north, add to the tension between Israelis and Palestinians over access to Al-Aqsa mosque, the third most revered site in Islam and home to the central mosque also known to Palestinians as Al-Qibli.

The United Nations urged “all actors to exercise maximum restraint”, following several days of rising tension and violence, centred around Al-Aqsa mosque, UN News reported.

“Concerning the situation between Lebanon and Israel, I can tell you that we condemn the multiple rockets being fired from Lebanon into northern Israel today,” UN Spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters during a briefing in New York.

He said that the UN Interim Force in Lebanon UNIFIL, “remains in contact with authorities on both sides” of the Blue Line – the frontier set by the UN in 2000 for the purposes of confirming Israeli withdrawal following its invasion of southern Lebanon.

Dujarric urged the parties to liaise with UN peacekeepers “and avoid any unilateral action that could further escalate the situation.”

Tor Wennesland, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, also condemned the launch of “indiscriminate rockets” from Lebanon, which he said was the largest incursion by rocket fire since 2006.

“It is unacceptable and must stop. A wider escalation must be avoided,” he added.

On Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that he had been “shocked and appalled” by images of violence between Israeli security forces and Palestinian worshippers, inside the mosque that day.

Israeli forces stormed the Al-Qibli mosque overnight, arresting hundreds of people, amid chaotic scenes of beatings, and fireworks being let off.

On Thursday, the UN Human Rights Council-appointed independent expert on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, condemned what she termed the “violent incursions” by Israeli forces on the compound overall, and attacks on worshippers inside the mosque.

“As Palestinian Muslims gathered for Ramadan prayers exercising their right to worship in Al-Aqsa Mosque, Israeli authorities used blatantly excessive and unjustified force against them,” said Special Rapporteur, Francesca Albanese.

She said at least 31 Palestinians had been reportedly injured during Wednesday’s raid, adding that paramedics had allegedly been prevented from providing medical treatment to the wounded.

In a press release, she said that Israeli forces had violently entered the mosque, according to initial accounts, used stun grenades and tear gas, and fired sponge-tipped bullets.

She said that at least 450 Palestinian men were reportedly arrested.  The mosque incident has drawn condemnation from the Arab and Muslim world.

The latest fighting raised fears of a wider conflagration, The Times of Israel reported. Two years ago, similar clashes led to a bloody 11-day war between Israel and Hamas. Hezbollah’s warning raised the specter of an even wider conflict, the report added.

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