At least nine Palestinian children are believed to have been killed during air strikes by Israel in response to rockets launched at them from the Gaza Strip, according to health officials in Gaza. In total, at least 20 Palestinians are reported to have been killed and hundreds of others injured.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Hamas had crossed a “red line” by firing rockets at Jerusalem for the first time since 2014. Subsequently, Israel carried out strikes against armed groups, rocket launchers and military posts in Gaza.
More than 700 Palestinians were injured in Jerusalem and across the West Bank during clashes with the Israeli security forces in a span of 24 hours, according to reports. Seven members of one single family, including three children, died in an explosion in Beit Hanoun, a northern Gaza town.
However, reports indicate that it is not yet clear whether the explosion was caused by an Israeli air strike or an errant rocket. Meanwhile, Ned Price, spokesperson for the US Department of State has come under the scanner for refusing to condemn the alleged killing of Palestinian children by Israeli forces.
During a press conference, Ned Price faced several queries on whether the principles of self-defense applies to Palestinians or not. The spokesperson was specifically asked, “Do you condemn the killing of Palestinian children?” He responded that the events have not been confirmed by an “independent team” and therefore, he was unwilling to discuss “reports that are just emerging”.
Violent clashes had erupted at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem recently which had left at least 200 injured. Subsequently, rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip in response which were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome system.
Meanwhile, balloon-borne incendiary devices were used by militants in Gaza to set multiple sites on fire within Israeli territory.
Sheikh Jarrah clashes
At the beginning of this year, a district court ruled four Palestinian homes in Sheikh Jarrah legally belong to Jewish families and should be handed over.
The Jewish plaintiffs claimed that their families lost the land during the war that accompanied Israel’s creation in 1948 while the Sheikh Jarrah families have provided evidence that their homes were acquired from Jordanian authorities.
Hundreds of Palestinians carried out rallies on Friday in Jordan chanting, “We will die for Sheikh Jarrah.”