The Latest: Hamas says it doesn't want a new war with Israel




  • In World
  • 2019-05-05 23:57:28Z
  • By Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) - The Latest on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (all times local):

11:15 p.m.

The leader of Hamas says his group is "not interested in a new war" with Israel, after two days of heavy rocket fire from Gaza and Israeli airstrikes on the blockaded territory.

Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement late Sunday that the militant group is ready to "return to the state of calm" if Israel stops its attacks "and immediately starts implementing understandings about a dignified life."

Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since the Islamic militant group seized control of Gaza from Western-backed Palestinian forces in 2007. Recent rounds of fighting, however, have ended relatively quickly with informal truces brokered by Egypt and the U.N.

In the past, Hamas has halted attacks in return for the easing of an Egyptian and Israeli blockade imposed on Gaza.

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10:35 p.m.

The Gaza Health Ministry says two more Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes.

The boy was killed Sunday in an Israeli airstrike targeting an apartment building in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya.

Another Palestinian man succumbed to wounds he sustained in an airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip earlier in the day.

The recent fatalities raise Gaza's death toll since Saturday to 22, including three women and two infants. At least eight of the dead were Islamic Jihad militants.

Israel has carried out numerous retaliatory strikes against militants in the Gaza Strip in response to over 600 rockets fired at southern Israel in the past day. Four Israeli civilians have been killed by rocket fire and dozens more have been wounded.

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10:30 p.m.

A U.N. statement says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres "condemns in the strongest terms" the launching of rockets from Gaza and is following the latest developments there with "deep concern."

The statement Sunday says the U.N. secretary-general "urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint, immediately de-escalate and return to the understandings of the past few months."

Palestinian militants have fired hundreds of rockets into Israel in the last two days, killing at least four Israelis. Israel has pounded Gaza with airstrikes in response, and the Palestinian death toll has risen to 20, including two pregnant women and two babies.

Recent rounds of fighting have ended relatively quickly with a return to informal understandings brokered by U.N. and Egyptian mediators, in which the militants cease fire in exchange for an easing of the Egyptian-Israeli blockade on Gaza.

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9:05 p.m.

Gaza's Health Ministry says three Palestinians, including an infant, have been killed in an Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza.

The ministry added Sunday that eight other Palestinians were wounded.

Witnesses said the airstrike hit a multi-story apartment building in Beit Lahiya.

There were no further details on those hit in the strike.

The Palestinian death toll in fighting with Israel has risen to 20 since Saturday, including at least eight militants, two women and two infants. At least four Israelis have been killed by Gaza rockets.

Meanwhile, Israel said it was suspending fuel deliveries to Gaza. Diesel, including Qatari-donated fuel for Gaza's only power plant, had continued to enter despite the escalation. Gaza's lone power station said it was turning off one of its three turbines, worsening chronic power shortages.

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8:40 p.m.

An Israeli man wounded by a Gaza rocket that hit the city of Ashdod has died of his wounds, raising the Israeli death toll to four in the past day.

An Israeli police spokesman confirmed Sunday that a 35-year-old man, who was wounded in a direct hit on a car in the southern city, has died.

A total of four Israeli civilians were killed by rockets fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip on Sunday, and at least 66 others have been wounded.

The Israeli military says it bombed militant targets in the northern Gaza Strip as it continues retaliatory strikes against Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group.

A total of 15 Palestinians, including at least eight militants, have been killed in the current round of fighting.

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8 p.m.

Israel's security cabinet is vowing to keep up the military offensive against militant groups in the Gaza Strip after a day and a half of rocket barrages.

Cabinet ministers issued a statement Sunday after a nearly five-hour meeting saying the "ultimate consideration is the security of the state and its residents."

Moments earlier a large rocket barrage from the Gaza Strip set off sirens across southern Israel. Paramedics say a rocket struck a car in the southern port of Ashdod, seriously wounding a 35-year-old man.

Three Israeli civilians have been killed by Palestinian rocket fire in the past day, and at least 66 others have been wounded, police say. The Gaza Health Ministry says 16 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes, four of them civilians.

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7:10 p.m.

Gaza's Health Ministry says three Palestinians, including a pregnant woman, have been killed in an Israeli airstrike.

The ministry said Sunday that Amani al-Madhoun, 33, was killed along with two men, one of them a relative. It says she was nine months pregnant.

The airstrike occurred in the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahiya.

Further details were not immediately available.

On Saturday, another pregnant woman was killed, along with her baby niece, in what Palestinians say was an Israeli airstrike. The Israeli military denied involvement, saying the woman and baby were killed by a misfired Palestinian rocket. There was no way to reconcile the conflicting accounts.

A total of 15 Palestinians, including at least eight militants, have been killed in the current round of fighting. Three Israelis have been killed by Palestinian fire.

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6:45 p.m.

Israeli airstrikes have killed another three Palestinians, including at least two militants.

The Gaza Health Ministry says Mohammed Abu Armana, 30, and Mahmoud Abu Armana, 27, were killed in a strike in the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza on Sunday. The Islamic Jihad militant group says both were members of its armed wing.

Later, the ministry said a 24-year-old Palestinian was killed in an airstrike on a building in the southern city of Rafah.

The latest outbreak of violence, which began Saturday with a barrage of Palestinian rockets, has killed 12 Palestinians, including eight militants. Rockets fired from Gaza have killed three Israelis.

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5:40 p.m.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Israelis have "every right to defend themselves" after Gaza militants intensified a wave of rocket attacks into southern Israel.

Speaking on "Fox News Sunday," Pompeo called the violence "pretty serious."

The flare-up was one of the bloodiest rounds of fighting since a 2014 war. Palestinian rocket fire has killed at least three Israelis and wounded over 100. Israeli retaliatory airstrikes have killed at least nine Palestinians and wounded over 110.

Pompeo said: "I hope we can return to the cease-fire that had been in place for weeks."

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5 p.m.

The U.N. envoy to the Middle East is calling for a cessation of rocket fire by Palestinian militants in Gaza after over 600 projectiles have been launched at Israel in the past day.

Nickolay Mladenov tweeted Sunday that "enough Palestinian and Israeli lives have been lost, people injured, houses damaged and destroyed," and called for a "return to the understandings of the past few months before it is too late."

Israeli retaliatory airstrikes have killed at least nine Palestinians and wounded over 110, while Palestinian rocket fire has killed three Israelis and wounded over 100.

The U.N., Egypt, and Qatar have been working in recent months broker a lasting cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the Islamic militant group ruling the Gaza Strip.

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3:35 p.m.

Gaza's Health Ministry says three Palestinians have been killed in a pair of Israeli airstrikes.

An airstrike on a car Sunday killed one man, identified by residents as Hamed al-Khoudary, a Hamas commander. Earlier, Islamic Jihad confirmed the deaths of two militants killed in east Gaza City.

The latest deaths bring to nine the number of Palestinians killed since Saturday, when militants began firing rockets toward Israel.

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3:30 p.m.

An Israeli hospital official says a total of three people have been killed from Palestinian rocket fire.

Dr. Ron Lobel, deputy director of the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon, said Sunday his hospital has treated over 110 people over the past 24 hours. He confirmed three deaths.

Lobel did not identify the dead, but they appeared to include a man hit early Sunday when a rocket landed in a residential courtyard and two people who were hit near an Ashkelon factory, according to Israeli media.

An Israeli woman was also critically wounded when an anti-tank missile struck the car she was traveling in.

At least eight Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her 14-month-old niece, have also been killed since the fighting erupted Saturday.

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2:30 p.m.

An Israeli hospital says it's been hit by shrapnel after an rocket fired from the Gaza Strip was intercepted by Israel's Iron Dome defense system.

Dr. Hezi Levy, director of the Barzilai University Medical Center in the city of Ashkelon, says there were no injuries Sunday, but the hospital's oncology unit suffered damage. He says the interception sent a large amount of metal fragments falling onto the hospital.

The medical center released a video of water pouring through the ceiling into a hallway after pipes were damaged by the strike.

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2:10 p.m.

The Israeli military says it's struck a series of new targets in the Gaza Strip, including sites it says were hidden in the homes of Hamas militants or concealed in civilian areas.

In an announcement Sunday, the military said jets and attack helicopters have struck tunnels, military compounds, a weapons-manufacturing facility and several rocket-launching sites.

The army says it's struck some 260 targets since fighting erupted a day earlier. Gaza militants have fired hundreds of rockets during that time, and air raid sirens continue to sound throughout southern Israel.

Six Palestinians, including a pregnant woman and her 14-month-old niece, as well as one Israeli man have been killed in the fighting.

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2 p.m.

Israel's main rescue service says a rocket from Gaza has wounded three Israelis, including two seriously.

The Magen David Adom service says the two men, ages 40 and 22, suffered "multisystem trauma" after being hit with shrapnel Sunday in the coastal city of Ashkelon. The third man, 50, was moderately wounded.

Earlier in the day, an Israeli man was killed in Ashkelon, the first Israeli to die from rocket fire since the 2014 war with Hamas militants.

Gaza militants have fired more than 400 rockets at Israel, with several direct hits on residential buildings. A midday burst struck a home in the city of Beersheba.

Gaza's Heath Ministry says six Palestinians have been killed by retaliatory Israeli airstrikes, including a pregnant woman and her 14-month-old niece. The Israeli military says it was not involved in the incident.

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1:40 p.m.

The family of a pregnant Palestinian woman killed by fighting in Gaza over the weekend alongside a 14-month-old girl says the woman was the girl's aunt, not her mother as earlier announced.

Gaza health officials initially identified the woman, Falistin Abu Arar, 37, as the girl's mother. But members of the family clarified the relationship on Sunday.

Palestinian officials say the two civilians were killed in an Israeli airstrike Saturday, while the Israeli army says it was not involved in the incident. It says the pair were killed by a misfired Palestinian rocket. The conflicting accounts could not immediately be reconciled.

Gaza militants have fired more than 400 rockets at Israel, killing one Israeli man, in one of the most intense flare-ups in years. Israel says it has struck back against some 220 targets, killing eight militants.

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11:40 a.m.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Gaza's Hamas rulers are paying a "heavy price" for the rocket attacks against Israel.

At the start of his weekly Cabinet meeting Sunday, Netanyahu said Hamas is not only responsible for its own militant actions but also those of the Islamic Jihad group, which operates in the Gaza Strip.

Netanyahu says he has instructed the military to continue its large-scale airstrikes against militant sites in Gaza and has ordered armor, artillery and infantry reinforcements up to the besieged enclave's perimeter.

Gaza militants have fired more than 400 rockets at Israel over the past day, killing one Israeli man, in one of the most intense flare-ups of violence in years. Israel says it has struck back against some 220 targets, killing eight militants. A pregnant Palestinian woman and her young daughter have also been killed in the fighting.

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9:50 a.m.

The Israeli military says an errant Palestinian rocket that misfired - not an Israeli airstrike - caused the death of a pregnant Palestinian mother and her 14-month-old girl in the Gaza Strip.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus on Sunday disputed the Gaza Health Ministry's statement that an Israeli strike killed the Palestinian woman, 37, and her daughter, Seba Abu Arar, in their east Gaza City home the previous day.

Conricus says Israeli forces have killed eight militants amid strikes against some 220 targets in the Gaza Strip. He says these were all deemed "high-quality," legitimate militant sites, including the homes of militants in which militant activity was taking place. He says he has no knowledge of civilians being harmed by Israeli fire.

In the new round of violence, militants in Gaza have fired over 400 rockets into southern Israel in the last 24 hours, killing one Israeli man, Moshe Agadi.

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8:50 a.m.

Israeli medical officials say an early morning rocket from Gaza has killed an Israeli man outside a home in the coastal city of Ashkelon.

After being struck by shrapnel Sunday, 58-year-old Moshe Agadi has died of his wounds, marking the first Israeli casualty from rocket fire since the 2014 war with Hamas militants.

Gaza militants have fired more than 400 rockets at Israel over the past day in one of the most intense flareups of violence in years, which broke a monthlong lull.

Israel's Iron Dome defense system intercepted dozens of the projectiles but four Israelis were wounded, including an elderly man who's in a critical condition.

Israel has retaliated with dozens of airstrikes against militant sites in Gaza. Six Palestinians, including a pregnant mother and her baby, were killed.

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