Hamas blames Israel for escalating violence as clashes erupt in West Bank
CA, 12 May 2021
Hamas Leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Tuesday Israel had "ignited fire" in Jerusalem and was responsible for the consequences after an escalation of rocket fire and airstrikes.
Haniyeh said Qatar, Egypt and the United Nations had been in contact urging calm but that Hamas's message to Israel was: "If they want to escalate, the resistance is ready, if they want to stop, the resistance is ready."
The rocket exchange and violence between Israel and Hamas raised the death toll in two days to 35 Palestinians according to the health ministry and three people in Israel.
A 13-story residential Gaza block collapsed after it was hit by an Israeli air strike, one of hundreds Israel's defence minister said it had carried out.
Into the early hours of Wednesday morning Gazans reported their homes shaking and the sky lighting up with Israeli attacks, outgoing rockets fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad and Israeli air defence missiles intercepting them.
The violence follows weeks of tension in Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, with clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian protesters in and around Al-Aqsa Mosque.
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