United States encouraging Israel to wind down Gaza offensive
Top United States officials have reportedly told Israelis that time isn’t on their side in terms of international objections to Israeli airstrikes and Hamas rockets, and that it is in their interest to wind down operations soon.
The conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants continues to escalate. United States President Joe Biden and administration officials have encouraged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials to wind down the bombardment of Gaza, a news report suggests. Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza, launched the rocket attacks
Israel-Palestine Conflict LIVE Updates | An Israeli artillery unit fires toward targets in Gaza Strip, at the Israel-Gaza border on May 18, 2021 (Image: AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov).
The largely liberal, secular beachside city of Tel Aviv has a reputation for being a hedonistic bubble. But during the past week, the city has been targeted by at least 160 rockets fired out of the Palestinian coastal enclave of Gaza, about 40 miles to the south.
The bombardment of Tel Aviv has been a devastating turn of events for a bustling metropolis that brands itself as Israel’s non-stop party city on the Mediterranean coast and the financial hub of the country.
Over the weekend, incoming alerts and rocket salvos sent crowds of beachgoers running for cover and closed down many of the city’s famed restaurants and bars.
Israel’s embassy in China is protesting what it describes as “blatant anti-Semitism” on a program ran by the overseas channel of state broadcaster CCTV discussing the ongoing violence in Gaza and elsewhere.
In a tweet, the embassy said “we have hoped that the times of the ‘Jew’s controlling the world’ conspiracy theories were over, unfortunately anti-Semitism has shown its ugly face again.”
“We are appalled to see blatant anti-Semitism expressed in an official Chinese media outlet,” the tweet said.
In yesterday’s CGTN broadcast, host Zheng Junfeng questioned whether US support for Israel was truly based on shared democratic values, saying “some people believe that US pro-Israeli policy is traceable to the influence of wealthy Jews in the US and the Jewish lobby on US foreign policy makers.”
“Jews dominate finance and internet sectors,” Zheng said, speaking in English. “So do they have the powerful lobbies some say? Possible.” (Input from The Associated Press)
According to Gaza health officials, at least 63 children are among the 217 Palestinians who have been killed in Gaza since the latest conflict between Israel and Hamas began on May 10. On the Israeli side, 12 people have been killed by Hamas rockets, all but one of them civilians, including a 5-year-old boy.
Children are being subjected to extensive trauma in Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip. For some, it’s trauma they’ve seen repeatedly throughout their short lives.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated in a post on Twitter yesterday that Israel’s attacks “will continue for as long as it takes to restore calm” for all of its citizens.
Netanyahu said Israel’s strikes had “set Hamas back many years” – which some Israeli news commentators took as a possible prelude to a ceasefire within days when he could claim victory.
But Amos Yadlin, a former Israeli military intelligence chief, said the picture was more complicated, citing civil unrest in Israel, mounting protests by Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and a trickle of rocket fire from Lebanon.
“As far as (Hamas) is concerned, what’s happening in the West Bank and maybe with (the Lebanese group) Hezbollah and Israel’s Arab citizens – this is where it has won,” Yadlin said on Channel 12 TV. “In the military game, they’ve lost.” (Input from Reuters)
The ‘Iron Dome’ is a ground-to-air, short-range air defence system that neutralises enemy rockets and missiles.
The concept was born after the 2006 Israel-Lebanon War when Israel faced thousands of rockets fired by Hezbollah. The missile defence system took years to develop and was tested in combat for the first time in April 2011.
The system has been mainly deployed to intercept short-range missiles and rockets coming in from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.