Israel rockets destroy Gaza City police headquarters, Hamas says

12 May 2021, 08:24

Firefighters extinguish burning apartment buildings after they were hit by Israeli airstrikes, in Gaza City
Palestinians Israel. Picture: PA

A wall of dark gray smoke rose over the largest Palestinian city as clashes continued.

Gaza City’s police headquarters has been destroyed after Israel launched dozens of air strikes and the death toll rose in its worsening conflict with Hamas.

Iyad al-Bozum, a spokesman for the Hamas-run Interior Ministry, said the police compound with several buildings was blown up by rockets unleashed by Israel as dawn broke on Wednesday.

The death toll in Gaza rose to 35 Palestinians, including 10 children, according to the Health Ministry, which said more than 200 people were wounded.

Five Israelis, including three women and a child, were killed by rocket fire on Tuesday and early on Wednesday, while dozens of others were injured.

In the West Bank, meanwhile, a 26-year-old Palestinian was killed during clashes with Israeli troops that entered al-Fawar refugee camp in southern Hebron, Palestine’s health ministry said.

In another sign of widening unrest, demonstrations erupted in Arab communities across Israel, where protesters set dozens of vehicles on fire in confrontations with police.

Israel Palestinians
Israeli police and Palestinian demonstrators have clashed in recent days (Mahmoud Illean/AP)

The UN Security Council planned to hold its second closed emergency meeting in three days on Wednesday on the escalating violence, an indication of growing international concern.

Council diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions have been private, said the UN’s most powerful body did not issue a statement because of US concerns that it could escalate tensions.

The fighting between Israel and Hamas was the most intense since a 50-day war in the summer of 2014.

In just over 24 hours, the current round of violence sparked by religious tensions in the contested city of Jerusalem increasingly resembled that devastating war.

By Press Association