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Violence Escalates Between Palestinians and Israelis as Airstrikes Continue

From Audio: Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Duration: 05:11
Dozens are dead as violence between Israelis and Palestinians intensifies. Israel launched more devastating airstrikes in Gaza as Hamas continues to respond with rockets.
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Dozens are dead as violence between Israelis and Palestinians intensifies. Israel launched more devastating airstrikes in Gaza as Hamas continues to respond with rockets.
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violence between Israelis and Palestinians keeps escalating without any clear resolution in sight. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue his military offensive in Gaza. After two days of Israeli airstrikes killed at least 43 Palestinians, including 13 Children. Israel says that this is all in response to a barrage of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. At least six people were killed in those attacks. In three days of escalating violence. The conflict has widened to include street fights between Israeli and Palestinian citizens. Within Israel NPR's Daniel Estrin is in the Israeli city of load today where a state of emergency has been declared. Hi Daniel, hi there, what has been happening there, What's happening there now? It's a city that's usually peaceful, but it's near the tel Aviv international Airport and it was one of the cities that has been under attack during an unprecedented number of rockets fired toward tel Aviv and neighboring areas. This is rare rocket fire deep inside Israel being fired from Gaza, A 63 year old grandmother, Israeli woman named Leah Yom Tov uh is one of those who was killed when a rocket hit her home yesterday and then today, early in the morning, not far from where I am now a father and a teenage daughter, Khalil and Nadine Awad. Their Palestinian citizens of Israel and they were killed when a rocket hit their home. I met a supermarket cashier in the city. Tanya is save, she's jewish. She said she was up all night with her young kids who were frightened from the air raid sirens and they would run into the stairwell of their apartment when the sirens went on in the building and they would meet their neighbors who'd come out from the door across from them, A Palestinian Arab family and here's what she told me, she said, I hugged my neighbor's kids and my neighbor hugged my kids, Daniel, What is happening now in in Gaza. On the other side of this conflict, residents have been up all night hearing the wash of rocket fire leaving Gaza toward Israel. The booms of Israeli warplanes striking inside Gaza. The Israeli military says it's targeted several residential buildings and militants and airstrikes. Early in this round of fighting, there was one strike that targeted the home of the Masari family in Gaza. Apparently one militant was killed there unrelated to the family, but also five members of the same family killed, including two brothers, an eight year old raf, 10 year old Yazan. According to officials in Gaza and my colleague in Gaza visited the families of the wounded in the hospital and just saw their anguish. One mother said our boys were killed on behalf of Jerusalem. Palestinians perceive Jerusalem's under threat from Israel, but then other family members were cursing the spokesman of Hamas, the militant group in Gaza, saying this fight for Jerusalem will not bring back our loved ones. Is anyone trying to stop this conflict? There are reports of arab and international mediators trying to encourage a ceasefire, but I spoke with a senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu told me Israel is nowhere near a ceasefire right now. The goal of Israel is to stop the rocket fire and to deter this unprecedented rocket fire. And I want to ask you about something that Rachel mentioned, which is the violence seems to be expanding, right? It started in Jerusalem that led to air attacks. Now there's fighting in the streets, in some areas, what is happening? Why is it getting bigger here in load? Israel has declared a state of emergency. It's a very rare move, but Israel has also shifted paramilitary troops from the occupied West Bank to this city which is normally peaceful, but now there's street violence here in recent days. There's been anger against potential evictions of Palestinians in Jerusalem. There are tensions between Palestinian citizens here and a religious jewish group that's moved to the city to strengthen what it says, strengthen Israeli character. And driving around the city this morning, I've seen the three religions represented, I've seen a church, a mosque, jewish religious citizens living here, but trucks and cars torched Palestinian citizens lobbed rocks at a car. What is what residents say, turning Palestinian and jewish citizens of fighting each other on the street. A jewish Israeli man arrested, suspected of shooting and killing an arab man. I spoke to one man, an Israeli religious jew Yuval Haviv who said his car was torched, no coexistence here, There is a hater there, there is terror here and that's my car. They just took the car to the front of the, to the middle of the road and burned it just burnt it. What is so worrisome is we're not seeing these enormous masses, anonymous masses of people protesting this is very personal violence between youth, between neighbors in cities throughout Israel where jews and Arabs lived side by side, A beloved fish restaurant in one of those cities was torched last night and the violence is morphing into what the mayor of this city load calls civil war. NPR's daniel Estrin in load, Israel daniel, thank you so much.
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