- 14 May 21
The death toll has risen overnight to at least 119 Palestinians, including 31 children and 19 women, according to Gaza’s health ministry. There have been 830 injuries.
Israel has unleashed hundreds of bombs on Gaza in one of the worst air strikes since the 2014 war, killing dozens of children with last night's devastating actions.
Israeli forces fired artillery and mounted more air strikes in the Northern part of the densely population "open air prison" this morning, claiming to be attempting to destroy a network of militant tunnels but killing innocent civilians and demolishing homes in the process.
Worryingly, the bombardment brings the front lines closer to dense civilian areas in Gaza and paves the way for a potential ground invasion.
Israeli military affairs correspondents who are briefed regularly by the armed forces said it was not a ground invasion, and that troops were firing artillery from Israel's side of the border, though this has been disputed by those within Gaza who were escorted out of the territory to a UN safety spot.
📷 طائرات الاحتلال تقصف ورشة حدادة في حي الشجاعية شرقي مدينة غزة pic.twitter.com/KyAzYxAffS
— وكالة صفا (@SafaPs) May 14, 2021
Individuals involved in a new eruption of Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed may be targeted by an International Criminal Court investigation now under way into alleged war crimes in earlier bouts of the conflict, its top prosecutor has told Reuters.
The ICC’s Fatou Bensouda said she would continue with her inquiry even without the cooperation of Israel, which accuses her office of anti-Semitic bias, and is not a member of the treaty-based court.
“These are events that we are looking at very seriously,” Bensouda said. “We are monitoring very closely and I remind that an investigation has opened and the evolution of these events could also be something we look at.
“This is just to alert people on all sides not to escalate, to be careful to avoid taking actions that will result in the commission of (war) crimes,” Bensouda said, referencing the current violence.
The ICC, based in The Hague, is an independent, permanent war crimes court that succeeded ad hoc U.N. tribunals which tackled the 1990s Rwandan genocide and Yugoslav conflict. It prosecutes individuals, not countries, when a member state is unwilling or unable to do so itself.
In March, after nearly five years of preliminary inquiries, the ICC said it was opening a formal investigation into suspected war crimes committed by both the Israeli military and Palestinian armed groups.
Israel massed troops along the border last night and called up 9,000 reservists following days of fighting with Palestinian militant group Hamas, though many have said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is using the violence to remain in power.
Efforts to form a coalition government that excludes Israel’s longest-serving prime minister have been put on the back burner, with Netanyahu appearing to be on the verge of losing his position at the helm of Israeli politics after 12 years until this week.
The country’s fourth inconclusive general election in the past two years had led to the opposition leader, Yair Lapid, being asked to try to put together a coalition. The flow of rockets and missiles between Israel and Gaza has now complicated those efforts.
The UN Security Council will publicly discuss the worsening violence between Israel and Palestine on Sunday, diplomats said after the United States earlier objected to a meeting today.
Waiting three days after a potential ground invasion and intense bombing campaign of an area of land with two million people and 50% children has understandably stirred controversy.
Meanwhile, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called on Palestinians on Tuesday to build up their fighting power to stop Israel's "brutality", saying Israelis "only understand the language of force".
The escalation in violence could potentially tip the scales and lead to a wider war in the region.
The tears are flowing down my face.
One of the most heartbreaking videos I’ve seen.
A Palestinian father knew about the killing of his 4 children by an Israeli missile in Gaza. Just kept repeating:
"Where are they? They were four!"#GazaUnderAttackpic.twitter.com/NDUyWZl7Yf
— Dr. Jennifer Cassidy (@OxfordDiplomat) May 14, 2021