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  • Palestinian mourners carry the body of Mohammed Odah, killed by an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip.

    Palestinian mourners carry the body of Mohammed Odah, killed by an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 November 2018

The escalated conflict between Gaza and Israel has claimed six Palestinian lives, destroyed a TV headquarters, and backtracked ceasefire efforts. 

Since the start of Israeli airstrikes Monday, six Palestinians have been killed in the besieged Gaza strip.

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The Gaza Ministry of Health identified the six slain Palestinians as 20-year-old Musaab Hoss, 22-year-old Mohammed Zuhdi Odeh, and Moussa Iyad Abd Aal, 23-year-old Hamad Mohammed Nahal, 26-year-old Khaled Riyadh Sultan, and 27-year-old Mohammed Zakariya Tatari. Another 25 Palestinians have been wounded since Monday afternoon.

The Israeli military said that around 400 rockets were launched from Gaza while Israel struck at least 70 targets in Gaza.

This escalation of conflict was the result of Israel’s botched undercover operation Sunday, which resulted in the death of seven Palestinians and one Israeli military officer.

“In response to yesterday’s crime, the joint command of Palestinian factions announce the beginning of bombardment of the enemy’s settlements with scores of rockets,” Hamas’ armed wing said in a statement after funerals were held for the militants Monday. Israel replied with more bombardment.

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) held Israel responsible for the escalation of violence in Gaza.

"Israel bears full responsibility for the grave escalation it instigated in the Gaza Strip and the wanton destruction and terror it has caused,” said the statement released Tuesday by the PLO’s Department of Public Diplomacy and Policy (DPDP).

“Israel's deliberate targeting of civilian structures, including residential buildings and a TV station, are war crimes, and Israel must face consequences for its actions,” the statement continued.

The TV station mentioned by the statement was the headquarters of al-Aqsa TV in Gaza city, which was reduced to rubbles by Israeli shellings Monday night.

Several F16 planes targeted the TV station with at least four missiles, minutes after Israeli warplanes fired missile alerts, destroying the TV station and seriously damaging Palestinian houses in the vicinity. According to Ma’an News Agency, no injuries were reported during the bombing.

“Israel is trying to silence Palestinian media. However, a few minutes after the Al-Aqsa building was targeted, we were able to resume broadcasting [from another place],” Rami Abu Dayya, a cameraman who has worked for Al-Aqsa TV for the past 14 years, told Middle East Eye Monday.

Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have also responded. In Hebron, a group of Palestinians held protests to show solidarity with Gaza.

Demonstrators during a rally  to show solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza on Nov. 13, 2018. | Photo: Reuters
 

“The right-wing Israeli government has been emboldened by the international community's failure to enforce accountability,” the PLO's DPDP argued while calling on all states “to shoulder their legal and moral responsibilities by confronting Israeli aggression and ensuring protection for the Palestinian civilian population.”

“The Palestinian leadership is committed to defending our people and their rights to live in peace, security, and freedom using all available diplomatic and legal tools. The Palestinian leadership will also continue its serious efforts with the help of Egypt and other concerned parties to achieve reconciliation and unity," concluded the statement.

The latest attacks on the occupied territory are considered to have setback the efforts by Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations to broker a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Ma’an news agency reported that Israel, at present is not working with the United Nations or Egypt towards the cease-fire.

“We reiterate our demand for international protection. We call upon the international community to do everything necessary to prevent a new massacre in Gaza," said Saeb Erekat the secretary general of the PLO’s executive committee.

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