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The hostilities in Gaza continue, with Israel clearly having the upper hand and being unrelenting in its efforts.
On May 16th, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that the bombing of the Gaza Strip would continue despite any ceasefire efforts.
Netanyahu said the Israeli air raids were continuing at “full-force” and would “take time”, adding that his country “wants to levy a heavy price” from Gaza’s Hamas rulers.
For this day only, at least 42 Palestinians were killed, including 10 children. The total number of deaths over a one-week-period are around 200.
On Israel’s side the casualties sit at 10, including two children.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that as of the evening of May 16th, Palestinian groups have launched over . towards Tel Aviv’s territory. It also alleged that nearly 15% of the launches failed, fall fell inside Gaza and harmed Palestinians.
Hamas started firing short-range rockets at southern Israel, instead of the longer-range weapons launched a day earlier.
The exchange continued on May 17th. According to media reports, the IDF is targeting open areas,evacuated military bases and empty training camps linked to Palestinian fighting groups in and around Gaza City.
Still, Israel’s bombardments on the Gaza Strip get heavier, target a wider area and last longer, leading to more casualties.
The IDF said that it was doing its best to avoid civilian casualties and reduce them to a minimum, but added that Hamas and Islamic Jihad had used residential buildings to hide their military targets.
Apart from missiles, six Israeli police officers were injured as a result of a ramming attack in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem.
A video of the attack shows a car ramming the officers who were gathered under an umbrella in one of Sheikh Jarrah main streets. The attacker, a Palestinian, was shot and killed on the spot by the Israeli Police. It remains unclear if he was armed.
Protests are taking place throughout Israel and many parts in the world housing Palestinian and Jewish communities.
Meanwhile, mostly fruitless international efforts are on-going to end the violence.
Iranian officials have called on the United Nations and fellow Muslim nations to step in to stop “apartheid” while a top military commander has pledged Iran will stand by Palestinians.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said his administration was working with Palestinians and Israelis to establish a sustained calm. He said so not live, but at a pre-recorded video played on May 16th to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr.