Israeli air strikes on blockaded Gaza have killed 133 people, including 36 children and 20 women, and has wounded 950 others, Palestinian medics said.

Black smoke billows after an Israeli airstrike targeted the Ansar compound in Gaza on May 14, 2021.
Black smoke billows after an Israeli airstrike targeted the Ansar compound in Gaza on May 14, 2021. (AFP)

Israeli planes have renewed air strikes in Gaza as the death toll continues to rise in the besieged enclave and regional powers scramble to secure calm. 

Palestinian medics said at least two people were killed in one of several air strikes in northern Gaza. Residents said Israeli naval boats fired shells from the Mediterranean though none may have hit the strip.

At least seven Palestinian civilians, including five children, were killed and others wounded when Israeli warplanes bombed and destroyed a residential house in western Gaza City.

Witnesses said the bodies were taken to the Shifa hospital after the bombing of a house belonging to the Abu Hatab family in the Al Shati refugee camp.

A search for missing people under the rubble is underway, they said.

The bombing took the death toll since the Israeli attacks started Monday to 133, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

The fatalities included 36 children and 20 women, while the number of injured rose to 950, according to a statement from the ministry.

Relentless bombardment

The Israeli army carried out nearly 30 air strikes in northern Gaza, Anadolu Agency reported. 

Electricity was cut in much of the area in the north due to attacks targeting the Education Directorate and civilian homes. 

The Palestinian religious affairs ministry said Israeli planes destroyed a mosque.

A military spokesman said the army was checking the report.

Sirens sounded in two major southern Israeli cities warning of incoming fire from Gaza. Hamas claimed responsibility for launching rockets.

With no sign of an end to the fighting, casualties spread further afield, with 11 Palestinians killed by Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank. 

At least 128 people have been killed in Gaza since Monday, including 31 children and 20 women, and 950 others wounded, Palestinian medical officials said.

READ MORE: Gazans flee homes as death toll from Israeli attacks soars to 126 

US urges "sustainable calm"

Ahead of a session of the UN Security Council on Sunday to discuss the situation, Biden administration envoy Hady Amr, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israel and Palestinian Affairs, flew in on Friday.

The US Embassy in Israel said the aim was "to reinforce the need to work toward a sustainable calm."

US President Joe Biden gave a show of support to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a call a day earlier, saying “there has not been a significant overreaction” in Israel’s response to Hamas rockets. He said the aim is to get a “significant reduction in attacks, particularly rocket attacks.”

Israel launched day-long attacks on Friday to destroy what it said were several kilometers of tunnels, launch sites and weapons manufacturing warehouses used by Hamas in an effort to halt the rocket attacks.

READ MORE: How world powers are reacting to Israeli attacks on Gaza

Diplomatic flurry

Egypt was leading regional efforts to secure a ceasefire. Cairo was pushing for both sides to cease fire from midnight on Friday pending further negotiations, two Egyptian security sources said, with Egypt leaning on Hamas and others, including the United States, trying to reach an agreement with Israel.

The foreign ministers of Egypt and Jordan discussed efforts to end the Gaza confrontation and to prevent "provocations" in Jerusalem, Egypt's foreign ministry said.

"The talks have taken a real and serious path on Friday," a Palestinian official said. "The mediators from Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations are stepping up their contacts with all sides in a bid to restore calm, but a deal hasn't yet been reached."

The United Arab Emirates on Friday called for a ceasefire and negotiations while offering condolences to all victims of the fighting, citing the promise of September accords that made the UAE and Bahrain the first Arab states in a quarter century to establish formal ties with Israel.

State news agency WAM quoted Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, the foreign minister, as offering his country's support to bring tensions to an end.

Morocco's King Mohammed VI ordered 40 tonnes of aid for Palestinians to be shipped to the West Bank and Gaza following recent violence.

The aid includes food, medicine and blankets and will be carried by military aircrafts, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Morocco also denounced "the violent acts perpetrated in occupied Palestinian territories," and reiterated support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the United Nations and Muslim countries on Friday to halt Israel's attacks, saying Turkey would support any UN initiative to end the violence.

"It is imperative that the UN Security Council takes steps to ensure peace in Jerusalem in line with decisions of the General Assembly," he said.

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Israeli police aggression against Palestinians

Israeli police detained dozens of Palestinians on Friday and injured several others in several towns. 

The Yediot Ahronoth newspaper reported that police arrested at least 30 people in Kafr Kanna, in the Galilee area in northern Israel.

Witnesses told Anadolu Agency that Israeli forces used live bullets, rubber-coated bullets, tear gas canisters and stun grenades against protesters.

Others were also detained in the towns of Umm al Fahm, Ein Mahil, Baqa al Gharbiyye and Sheikh Danun in the north as demonstrations were held to protest Israeli settler assaults on Palestinians and in support of Jerusalem and Gaza.

Police also detained the deputy head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, Sheikh Kamal al Khatib, on Friday after breaking into his home in Kafr Kanna.

Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah area for the past month as Israeli settlers swarmed in after an Israeli court ordered the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes.

Palestinians protesting in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces.

READ MORE: Gaza marks Muslim festival Eid surrounded by war as Israeli bombs kill 103

Lebanese protester hit by Israeli fire dies of wounds

A Lebanese man was shot and killed by Israeli troops after he and others protesting in support of Palestinians tried to cross a security fence on the border with Israel, Lebanon's state news agency NNA reported.

NNA said another youth had been wounded after protesters gathered along the border in a show of solidarity with Palestinians.

The dead man was named as Mohamed Tahan, aged 21.

The protesters were later dispersed by the Lebanese army in the presence of UNIFIL, the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon that monitors the boundary with Israel, a witness said.

UNIFIL said it had launched an immediate investigation into the incident in the Kfar Kila area of the border.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said in a statement he "strongly condemned the crime committed by Israeli forces."

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Source: TRTWorld and agencies