Situation in Israel and Palestine by the morning of May 18, 2021.
The Israel Defense Forces continue to methodically hit targets in the Gaza Strip. The head of the General Staff said that Operation Guardian of the Wall would continue for at least 48 hours. In Gaza, more and more civilians and civilian casualties have been killed: a whole family has died, and another Israeli Air Force airstrike destroyed the Red Crescent in Gaza, sparking a new wave of criticism and anger.
The Israel Defense Forces are reporting strikes on the homes of the Hamas top leadership, the elimination of a high-ranking Islamic Jihad field commander, the destruction of a 100-kilometer network of tunnels and the destruction of the group’s naval infrastructure. During the night, 65 targets were hit.
Shelling from the Palestinian groups continues, but the effect of the previous days is fading away: the Iron Dome steadily intercepts the projectiles fired, there are no significant injuries or casualties.
Six shells were fired from Lebanese territory at the border area of Israel. Despite early statements, not all groups operating in Lebanon are neutral. The Iraqi group “Zulfiqar Force“, which periodically undermines the US logistics convoys, has declared its readiness to support Palestine. In Lebanon, a Hezbollah rally was held with the participation of the leader of the Islamic Jihad, Ziyad al-Naklalla. A UAV on its way to Israel from Jordan was shot down. Al-Qaeda celebrated the role of the commander of the combat wing of Hamas.
On May 18, rallies and strikes are planned among the Arab population of Israel. At the same time, Fatah announced a “Day of Wrath”. In Ramallah, for the first time in 16, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (the military wing of Fatah) demonstrated. In the West Bank, periodic attacks on Israeli checkpoints and attempts to “ignite” the east of Palestine continue. During the night, there were clashes with the police in the Shaafat camp in Jerusalem.
Turkey President Recep Erdogan announced his readiness to provide all kinds of political and military support for political steps to liberate Jerusalem, and before that he cursed the Austrian government for supporting Israel. At this stage, Turkey and Qatar’s assistance to Palestine is limited to such statements, although Ankara proposes to consider the Libyan model for demarcating the maritime borders between Palestine and Israel.
Biden discussed a possible ceasefire with Netanyahu for the third time. Moscow is ready to facilitate direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
According to the Gaza Ministry of Health, 212 people have died in the Gaza Strip since the escalation began. Among them are 61 children. The killed militants are included in the official statistics.
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