Israeli troops were fighting on three fronts on Friday night into Saturday as West Bank protests saw their first fatalities, the death toll in Gaza rose past 130, and a Hezbollah fighter from Lebanon was shot dead by IDF forces.
Turmoil from the battle between Israel and Hamas spilled over into the West Bank on Friday, sparking the most widespread Palestinian protests in years as hundreds of young demonstrators in multiple towns clashed with Israeli troops, who shot and killed at least 11 people.
Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip continued into early Saturday, when an airstrike on a house in Gaza City killed at least seven Palestinians – the highest number of fatalities in a single hit. Hamas militants responded by firing more rockets into Israel as their battle entered a fifth consecutive night.
That strike came a day after a furious overnight barrage of tank fire and airstrikes that wreaked destruction in some towns, killed a family of six in their house and sent thousands fleeing their homes.
At least 132 people have been killed in Gaza since Monday, including 32 children and 21 women, and 950 others wounded, Palestinian medical officials said.
In the north of Israel, pro-Palestinian protesters against the Jewish state’s assault on the Gaza Strip approached the border from Lebanon on Friday afternoon, amid fears fears of an incursion from Israel’s northern neighbour by Iran-backed Hezbollah, Israel’s arch-enemy.
There, a young Lebanese man was struck by Israeli fire, and later died of his wounds, after a small group reportedly attempted to cross the border into Israel.
Hezbollah said the man, whom it named as Mohamad Kassem Tahan, died from his wounds. He was a member of the pro-Iranian Shiite militant group who was taking part in a demonstration, the group claimed.
The 21-year-old protester was one of two men who suffered wounds from Israeli shelling during the protest on the frontier, the official National News Agency said.
Among eight people dead in Israel so far in the conflict were a soldier patrolling the Gaza border and six civilians, including two children, Israeli authorities said.
Earlier on Friday, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to crush Hamas with unrelenting bombardments amid growing fears of a Lebanese incursion into Israel, with residents in the country’s northern region told to stay inside their homes.
‘They attacked our capital, they fired rockets at our cities. They’re paying and will continue to pay dearly for that,’ Netanyahu said during a video address on Friday. ‘It’s not over yet,’ he warned.
‘I said we would exact a very heavy price from Hamas and other terror groups, and we are doing so and will continue to do so with great force,’ the Prime Minister said, before detailing Israel’s destruction of Hamas tunnels.
‘Hamas thought it could hide there, but it cannot,’ he said. ‘Hamas leaders think they can escape from our grasp. They cannot escape. We can reach them everywhere – all of [Hamas’s] people and we will continue to do so.’
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Source: Daily Mail