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The escalation between the Israeli Army and the Palestinian militias has jumped several notches with the shelling, after being evacuated, of a 12-storey building in Gaza, which housed the offices of some international media, or new rounds of projectiles against Tel Aviv and surroundings. In the past, the intensification of the spiral of violence served paradoxically at times as the prelude to a truce.
The question is whether this escalation will also be more virulent than the others.
After six days of massive Israeli air offensive, the death toll given this Saturday by the Ministry of Health of the impoverished enclave controlled by the Islamist group Hamas reached
140 dead, including 34 children
In Israel, the number reached
10, including two minors.
In the morning, all eyes were on the Gaza Strip Shati refugee camp in the wake of the attack that killed 8 children and two women from
The shelling hit the three-story building they were in.
"The house was attacked without Israel warning us before,"
said Abu Hatab who asked the head of the Hamas armed wing to take revenge: "We are all soldiers of Mohamed Deif, finish them off."
"I saw the bodies of four people, including children, who were rushed to the hospital.
I could not hold it and ran back to my house,
" said a neighbor, Said Alghoul, noting that he saw how Israeli planes launched three missiles.
The health team revealed that a baby survived.
For Hamas spokesman
, "it is a massacre. This crime reflects the inability of the occupation in the face of resistance in Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem."
The Israeli army claimed that its fighters were targeting top Hamas leaders in the Shati area and said they are doing
"everything possible to prevent harm to civilians."
"Since the beginning of the escalation that Hamas started attacking Jerusalem, we have evidence that
75 Hamas terrorists
and dozens of Jihad
have been killed
, while at least 20 civilians in Gaza were killed by Hamas projectiles that fell short and landed on their territory. "says military spokesman
Dozens of projectiles against Tel Aviv
Hamas' response to Shati's attack resulted in dozens of projectiles against Tel Aviv and its surroundings, even reaching the Arab Israeli town of Taibeh, further north, where more than a few residents celebrated by handing out candy.
The impact of a projectile in a house caused the death of an Israeli in Ramat Gan (adjacent to Tel Aviv), who returned to the nightmare of 1991 when Iraqi President
to try to provoke the reaction of Israel and thus break the American-Arab alliance in the Gulf War.
"Enough is enough! We must end the Hamas terrorists,"
said Sason in Ramat Gan.
The Israeli retaliation was resounding and immediate: the destruction of a 12-story building in Gaza that, among other clients, housed the
and the US news agency AP.
The Army called the owner of the building to evacuate it.
"You are in danger. I ask you to get out of there,"
said an Israeli official on the phone in Arabic to the owner who, in turn, asked him for another 10 minutes to vacate the emblematic tower.
Finally, after being evacuated, Al Jalaa collapsed by "three powerful missiles" as reported by AP, whose president
was "shocked and horrified."
Al Jazeera announced that it will take legal action.
According to the Army, the building was also used as a "general command of the joint intelligence of Hamas" and Jihad and served as a "human shield" for its troops.
It is the third building of more than ten floors destroyed by Israel.
Capacity for six more months
The armed wing of Hamas promised "a devastating response" warning that it would "shake Tel Aviv."
According to their spokesman,
Abu Oveida, they
have the capacity to launch projectiles at Tel Aviv for a further six months.
The UN, which called for an immediate ceasefire, reported
10,000 displaced people who had to flee their homes
fleeing the bombs in the coastal enclave. Precisely on the day of
(Catastrophe) in which the Palestinians remembered this Saturday the 700,000 who were expelled or fled their homes in the war of 48 after the independence of Israel, UNRWA (UN Agency for Palestine Refugees ) opened their schools to those who saw their houses destroyed or damaged.
Although on such a virulent day talking about a truce seems surreal,
mediation continues to work behind
to at least achieve a temporary ceasefire. The US special envoy,
, who arrived in Tel Aviv this Friday, joined the Egyptian mediation to achieve a truce.
Israeli Prime Minister
today justified to US President
the bombing of the AP offices. "Netanyahu stressed that Israel is doing everything possible to avoid any harm to those who are not involved" in the conflict, the Israeli prime minister's office said in a statement. "The proof is that the buildings that have terrorist premises are evacuated from uninvolved people before being attacked." Palestinian President
received his first phone call from Joe Biden since arriving in the White House on Saturday, his services in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, said.
For its part, Hamas would be interested in a truce against the punishment of both its armed wing (troops, infrastructure and arsenal) and Gaza itself (buildings, electricity, etc.) after an offensive that its leadership did not expect to be so massive. In addition, he
would allege that he managed to surprise Israel on the first day
, did not stop firing projectiles and took over the leadership of the cause for Jerusalem.
Israel? The official version is that "the offensive will continue until calm is restored and our cities are no longer attacked," but unofficially they
begin to assess a truce in the next few days
. At the military level, the damage inflicted on Hamas in just six days is believed to be greater than the 50 days in the 2014 war. There are voices, however, calling for the continuation of the offensive to completely end Hamas' capabilities.
The fear of new fronts (huge wave of internal violence between Arabs and Jews, the West Bank and Lebanon with the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah) is key in decision-making after one of the most violent weeks in recent years.
It is very possible that the destruction of the tower that served as the headquarters of some international media will increase the pressure on Israel to start the path towards a ceasefire.
According to the criteria of The Trust Project
Middle East "Hamas will attack us at 18:00, although yesterday they went ahead"
The Iron Dome: the great shield of Israel, under review
Middle EastIsrael bombs Gaza by land and air in escalation that kills more than 120
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