Israel fired shells at Lebanon in response to rocket launches, while U.S. President Joe Biden continued to pressure Israel and Hamas, which governs Gaza’s Palestinian territory, to agree to a ceasefire after a week. of violence that has killed more than 200 people.
A Lebanese security source said Israel fired 22 shells at Lebanon. Israeli security forces said six rockets had been launched from southern Lebanon.
At least 212 people, including 61 children, have died in Gaza since the violence erupted just over a week ago. Some 1,500 Palestinians have been injured.
Israel has reported ten deaths, including two children.
Biden held his third telephone conversation with Israeli interim Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as he continued efforts to achieve a ceasefire.
The White House said Biden “encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians” and that the two leaders “discussed progress in Israel’s military operations against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. “.
Here are the latest updates:
Amnesty condemns US approval of arms sales to Israel
Human rights group Amnesty has condemned US plans to sell $ 735 million worth of weapons to Israel in the midst of a conflict with Palestinian armed groups, which said the approval undermined the US commitment to defend the human rights around the world.
“By supplying weapons that could be used to commit war crimes, the U.S. government runs the risk of provoking further attacks on civilians and seeing more people killed or wounded by U.S. weapons,” said Philippe Nassif, defense director Amnesty International USA for the Middle East and North Africa said in a statement urging Biden to reconsider the decision.
Israel fires southern Lebanon after rocket launch failures
Six shells were fired from Lebanon into northern Israel on Monday, but did not cross the border, the Israeli military said.
He said that in response, artillery was fired at “launch sources” in Lebanon.
The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon said it had detected rockets around Rashaya Al Foukhar and urged all parties to “exercise maximum restraint.”
On Monday 17 May at around 11.30pm, UNIFIL detected rocket fire from the Rashaya Al Foukhar general area north of Kfar Chouba in the s. Lebanon. Immediately afterwards the parties also informed us.
IDF returned artillery fire aimed at the site where the rockets originated.
– UNIFIL (@UNIFIL_) May 17, 2021
Images from Gaza suggest Israel committed “war crimes,” the law professor says
Ardi Imseis, a law professor at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, said Israel is responding with disproportionate force in the Gaza Strip and probably committing war crimes.
“We have reasonable grounds to believe that war crimes, violations of international humanitarian law are being committed, mainly for disrespect for the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution,” Imseis told Al Jazeera.
The rapes appear to come “mainly from the Israeli side, but not exclusively,” Imseis said.
US “delay” in support of ceasefire “has led to the killing of children”: Ilhan Omar
U.S. lawmaker Ilhan Omar said U.S. President Joe Biden’s delay in expressing his support for the ceasefire “has caused the killing of children and the destruction of lives.”
The tweet came after Biden told Benjamin Netanyahu, an Israeli, in a phone call, which he supported the ceasefire.
Finally !! Our delay in supporting the ceasefire has caused the killing of children and the destruction of lives.
Now Biden must press for an end to the occupation. https://t.co/pfgDoIfpK0
– Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) May 17, 2021
At least 61 children have died since Israel began its bombing on May 10, following rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip and Israeli attacks on Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem. Two children have also died in Israel.
Biden says he supports the ceasefire and reiterates support for Israel
U.S. President Joe Biden “expressed support for ceasefire” during a conversation with Israeli interim Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday afternoon, according to a reading of the White House conversation .
Biden also “welcomed the efforts to address inter-communal violence and provide calm in Jerusalem” and “encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians.”
Israel has been criticized for the number of civilian deaths during its airstrikes.
Still, Biden “reiterated his strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks,” the reading said.
Click on all updates for Monday, May 17th here.