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A Palestinian man walks past a destroyed building in a heavily-damaged residential neighbourhood of Gaza City early on May 16, 2021, following a massive Israeli bombardment. (Photo by AFP)

Israel Gaza onslaught

Israel has carried out fresh airstrikes on the Gaza Strip, killing nearly three dozen more Palestinians in the besieged territory. The new fatalities have brought the death toll in Gaza to at least 174 on the seventh day of the Israeli onslaught. The death toll includes 47 children. Media reports say Israeli warplanes have conducted 150 raids since the early hours of Sunday. That’s the most intensive airstrike launched on Gaza over the past seven days. The fresh wave of attacks comes a day after Israeli’s bombing of a high-rise building in Gaza, which housed several international media organizations. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said he has been deeply disturbed by the bombardment of media offices. Press freedom advocates also condemned the attack as an attempt to silence journalists covering Israel’s ongoing offensive.

Condemning aggression

Mass demonstrations have been held in several cities across North America and elsewhere in condemnation of Israel’s deadly aggression against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The protests were held in the US cities of New York, Boston and Washington as well as Canada’s Montreal. The protesters called for an end to Israeli attacks and denounced them as war crimes. They carried banners which read, 'End Israeli Apartheid' and 'Freedom for Gaza'. Similar rallies were held in the Australian city of Sydney and the Tunisian and Iraqi capitals. In Lebanon, people rallied along the separation barrier with Israel, chanting anti-regime slogans. The Turkish capital, Ankara, was also the scene of anti-Israeli demonstrations. In Qatar, hundreds staged a protest in Doha, where the leader of  Hamas delivered a speech.

Israel violence

Israeli troops have attacked residents and protesters in a tiny neighborhood of East Jerusalem al-Quds where eight Palestinian families are facing a looming eviction. During the violent crackdown in Sheikh Jarrah, Israel forces beat protesters and dragged them on the ground. They also made several arrests. The demonstrators say they gathered in the neighborhood to peacefully protest the planned eviction. Israel seeks to drive the Palestinian families out of their homes and let Jewish settlers move in. This, along with Israeli restrictions for Muslims to enter al-Aqsa Mosque during the month of Ramadan, ignited a wave of protests in East Jerusalem al-Quds and the occupied West Bank.

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