Israeli fighter jets continued to hit the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least one Palestinian and wounding several more as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defied the U.S. call for a de-escalation and a ceasefire path. .
At least 227 Palestinians have died in 11 days of violence. Among the dead are 64 children and 38 women.
On the Israeli side, 12 people have died.
U.S. President Joe Biden discussed events in Gaza with Netanyahu on Wednesday, telling the interim leader he expected “a significant escalation today on the road to ceasefire.”
But shortly after Biden’s phone call, Netanyahu said he was “determined” to continue bombing Gaza until Israel’s goal is “met.”
Meanwhile, diplomatic efforts to secure a truce between Hamas rulers in Israel and Gaza remain stalled, and the United States continues to block the actions of the UN Security Council on the issue.
Here are the latest updates:
Hamas official predicts truce “in one or two days”
Moussa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas political official, has predicted a ceasefire within days of the escalation between Israel and Gaza.
“I believe the ongoing efforts to ceasefire will be successful,” al-Mayadeen told Lebanese television. “I hope the ceasefire will be reached in a day or two, and the ceasefire will be based on a mutual agreement.”
An Egyptian security source told Reuters that the parties had agreed in principle to a ceasefire after the help of mediators, but details are still being negotiated in secret.
A Palestinian killed in Gaza
At least one Palestinian was killed and 13 others were injured in the latest Israeli airstrikes against Gaza, Palestinian news agency Wafaa reported.
A Wafa correspondent in Gaza said Israeli fighter jets carried out a minimum of 30 air raids on roads and houses in Gaza City, Jabalia and Khan Younis.
The raids caused “significant destruction” on the Saftawi Highway, which connects Gaza City with the northern areas of the enclave, and damaged electricity, water and sanitation networks, the agency reported.
Palestinian groups “fire 80 rockets at night”
Palestinian groups in Gaza fired 80 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel between 7pm on Wednesday and 7am on Thursday, the Times of Israel reported, citing the Israeli army.
According to the website, the Israeli air defense system intercepted most of the rockets and no injuries were reported.
The last rocket was launched at 1:00 local time, he added.
The US opposes France’s draft declaration
Washington has opposed a proposed UN Security Council resolution drafted by France urging a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, according to the Associated Press.
A spokesman for the U.S. mission to the UN reiterated Washington’s stance that a public statement could interfere with Biden’s efforts to end hostilities.
“We have been clear and consistent that we are focusing on intense ongoing diplomatic efforts to end the violence and that we will not support actions that we believe undermine efforts to de-escalate,” the spokesman told AP on condition of anonymity.
Diplomats said the rest of the 15-member body supported the French draft.
U.S. Democrats urge Biden to facilitate truce between Israel and Palestine
More than 130 Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives called on Biden to “facilitate the immediate cessation of violence” between Israel and Hamas and to “pressure both sides to negotiate a ceasefire quickly.”
“The alternative is a human tragedy in unfolding of unimaginable dimensions,” the letter said.
Along with more than 130 members of Congress, I urge you @POTUS to demand an immediate ceasefire in Israel and Palestine.
No more lives should be lost. pic.twitter.com/jEc2uZcgOS
– Representative Mark Pocan (@repmarkpocan) May 19, 2021
Several Palestinians wounded in Israeli raids
At least nine Palestinians were injured in an Israeli attack on a house in the southern Gaza City of Khan Younis, according to doctors.
Another eight were injured in an airstrike on a residential building in Jabalia, northern Gaza.
Israel launches dozens of airstrikes against Gaza
Israel continued to beat the Gaza Strip with airstrikes early Thursday.
A series of loud explosions blew up Palestinian territory, with bright orange flashes illuminating the sky before dawn.
Israeli warplanes bomb Al-Saftawi Street in Gaza. pic.twitter.com/YWsddgskjq
– TIMES OF GAZA (@Timesofgaza) May 20, 2021
For all the news from yesterday, May 19, go here.